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Target Now Accepts Mobile Payment, Contactless Cards

Target’s making the so-called Run and Done that much quicker thanks to new payment options.

Target stores will soon accept Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay, as well as “contactless cards” from Mastercard, Visa, American Express and Discover, according to a press release on the company’s website.

Now everyone can simply wave or tap to purchase. Mike McNamara, Target’s chief information officer, said the new feature brings even more convenience to the in-store shopping experience.

The new options are the latest update to the company’s wallet feature, which launched in the Target app in 2017, garnering 150 million Target Wallet payment scans, according to the retailer. Until now, it only allowed for mobile payments using an on-file Target REDcard debit or credit card. Now, all shoppers will also be able to use other popular mobile wallets in all Target stores, as well as RFID-enabled contactless cards.

Danny Silverman, CMO at e-commerce platform Edge by Ascential, said allowing for more ways to pay removes friction from transactions. “Removing barriers to purchase is critical at every step along the path to purchase,” he said. “This is yet another indication that after 10 years, contactless payment is finally taking hold.”

The Target app’s wallet feature also allows customers to access coupons, store and use Target gift cards, and get 5 percent off all purchases with a REDcard. Similarly, Walmart’s store-exclusive app allows for mobile payments as well as mobile couponing. Perks like these are definitely a part of the appeal for consumers but they’re not typically enough to drive shoppers to chose the store’s wallet solution over the more agnostic versions, Silverman said.

“Target, Walmart and others have been trying to drive adoption of their own proprietary in-app solutions, which they were hoping would be adopted faster than these payment types,” said Silverman. “They may still offer discounts exclusive to the apps, but most shoppers just want quick access to any payment form they choose.”

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To some degree, in-store apps have been more widespread because they provide a single solution. For example, the Starbucks mobile payment app, which launched in 2011, is available on both Android and iOS. Apple Pay and Samsung Pay, on the other hand, are exclusive to phones with their respective operating systems. In 2018, Starbucks’s mobile payment app had more users than Apple’s or Google’s, according to Recode.

Silverman also noted that Target is adopting contactless and mobile payment technology at a rate comparable to other retailers. “Target is largely on-pace with competitors,” said Silverman, noting Walmart and Home Depot still don’t accept mobile payments. Other retailers, like Kohl’s, Best Buy, Duane Reade, ACE Hardware, Whole Foods and Safeway, already accept multiple mobile payment options.