The Small Business Times

Does Kroger Take Apple Pay?

As it’s America’s favorite department store, you may ask yourself: Does Kroger take Apple Pay? Does this pillar of quality and convenience offer its customers a contactless, cardless payment solution? Let’s find out.

The truth, unfortunately, is that Kroger does not take Apple Pay. The company considered incorporating Apple Pay as one of its payment options in early 2020. But it doesn’t seem to be planning to include it any time soon. Kroger does have NFC technology for mobile payments installed at their stores. However, this is for cardless, contactless payment via the Kroger app.

Many customers may be confused as to why the biggest supermarket chain in the US doesn’t offer Apple Pay. However, Kroger has reasons for not expanding its payment options this way. And we’ll discuss these later in this blog post. We’ll also briefly explore the Kroger brand and dive into making payments at its stores. 

What is Kroger?

Kroger has established itself as the leading supermarket in America, with its annual revenue north of $120 billion in 2019. The company was started by a then-young entrepreneur, Bernard Kroger, who was only 23 years old. The first official Kroger outlet was opened in downtown Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1883.

Since then, the company has grown exponentially. In fact, it now operates over 2,700 supermarkets and department stores across the US. And it’s considered one of the most prominent privately-owned employers in America, with more than 400,000 employees.

Kroger stores include multi-department stores, supermarkets, superstores, hypermarkets, jewelry stores, and fuel centers. It is also a public traded company currently listed on the New York Stock Exchange. 

Why Doesn’t Kroger Take Apple Pay?

When you see the NFC mobile payment readers at the checkout, you may be under the impression that Kroger takes Apple Pay. However, those readers are present for mobile payment via their Kroger app. 

Unfortunately, Kroger does not take Apple Pay. And the reason for this is that this iconic brand has its own app, which comes with a built-in digital wallet called Kroger Pay. 

Customers can use the Kroger app to shop and pay for their chosen products. And that can arrange to collect their purchase or have it delivered via the Kroger app. Kroger also offers its customers special promotions, discounts, and rewards through the app.

Excluding third-party mobile payment methods, such as Apple Pay and Google Pay, gives Kroger autonomy throughout the buying process. This way, the company ensures that it can manage and analyze the customer experience from start to finish.

Through the app, Kroger also saves on payment processing fees that it would have had to pay to Apple. And they’re still able to offer their customers a secure and convenient way to pay for their groceries, pharmaceuticals, fuel, etc. Customers can also shop at Kroger, knowing that there’s a payment method available that reduces their exposure to germs.

How can You Pay for Purchases at Kroger?

Kroger stores accept traditional payments via cash, check, debit card, and credit card. And as is the case with most establishments today, they take all the major types of credit cards

That said, if you prefer cardless, contactless mobile payments, you can always pay using Kroger Pay via the Kroger app. You can even link your Kroger Plus Card in the app to maximize your rewards when buying from a well-established retailer.

How to Pay using the Kroger Pay

Using Kroger Pay to pay for your purchases is not complicated at all. Just follow these steps to set up and pay with their app next time you visit your local Kroger store:

Setting Up the Kroger App

  1. First, you’ll need to visit Kroger.com to register for an account.
  2. Once you have a Kroger account, you can download the Kroger app from your phone’s app store.
  3. When the app is installed on your phone, log in to your account using the login details for the account you set up on their website. 
  4. You’ll also need to select your closest Kroger store as your preferred “home” store in the app.
  5. After that, you can set up your Kroger Pay account by linking your preferred payment method to the app. Kroger Pay lets you link your credit card, debit card, or bank account for payment. You can also link your Kroger Plus Card in this section of the app to earn rewards for your purchases.

Purchasing In-store with Kroger Pay

  1. Now you can head off to your Kroger “home” store to shop. And when you have all the items you need, you can proceed to the checkout as usual.
  2. Before scanning your items, open your Kroger app and go to Kroger Pay. 
  3. Then verify your identity via fingerprint or facial scan.
  4. Once verified, you’ll see a QR code on your screen. If you’re at a self-checkout counter, hold your screen in front of the scanner so it can scan the QR code. If there’s a cashier at the checkout, hold your phone out so that they can scan the QR code for you. The app will indicate whether the scan was successful.
  5.  Now you can scan you chosen items for payment. 
  6. After scanning, the app will prompt you to review your purchase and add any coupons you may have.
  7. If you’re happy with the items scanned and listed, you can tap on the proceed button to initiate payment.
  8. Kroger Pay will then confirm whether the payment was successful, and you can take your purchased items.

Conclusion

In this day and age, customers demand convenience and security when paying for their goods. They want a hassle-free checkout and payment experience. And they need reassurance that their personal and sensitive information is secure.

The element of health is also at play, brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, many are opting for contactless payment methods, reducing the spread of germs. Which is one of the reasons Apple Pay, in particular, has seen exponential growth in popularity over the past two years.

That said, while Kroger doesn’t take Apple Pay, it does offer a contactless payment option via its own mobile app. With Kroger Pay, customers can enjoy the benefits of a mobile payment option while earning rewards from Kroger. 

While this means you’ll have to download yet another app to your device, you’ll at least be a Kroger member. Which means you’ll be privy to member-only promotions and rewards.