Payment Options Run the Gamut
Perhaps pushed forward by a pandemic-era desire to keep germs at bay, contactless payments have become an increasingly important checkout feature for many grocery shoppers. Today, Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay and others are accepted at hundreds of grocery banners, and technology companies and grocers themselves are also creating new solutions.
In 2019, The Kroger Co., based in Cincinnati, rolled out its Kroger Pay option, which allows customers to link a card to the Kroger app and use their coupons, loyalty card and payment all in one scan. Bentonville, Ark.-based Walmart offers a similar payment option, as well as a mobile scan-and-go service that lets shoppers scan items as they shop and than pay at a self-checkout kiosk. Giant Eagle, Albertsons Cos., Lowes Foods, Meijer, Hy-Vee, ShopRite and many other grocers offer similar options.
San Francisco-based Instacart, meanwhile, is creating a contactless payment ecosystem through its Connected Stores solutions. Independent grocer Foodcellar Market was the first retailer to fully roll out Instacart’s Scan & Pay option, which lets shoppers scan a QR code found on a sign at the front of the store and automatically add items to their digital cart and check out anywhere via their smartphone.
“Our customers have shared their surprise at how easy it is to use Scan & Pay – there’s no need to download an app or learn complicated technology,” says Metin Mangut, co-founder of Long Island City, N.Y.-based Foodcellar Market. “We’ve been really pleased with the early adoption, and our store associates love how Scan & Pay reduces stress for them, too.”
Amid inflationary times, many grocery shoppers are also turning to buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) options in an effort to stretch their dollars at the register. A PYMNTS.com study found that 40% of Millennial and 37% of bridge Millennial grocery shoppers are “very” or “extremely” interested in such a service.
Stockholm-based financial technology company Klarna partners with Walmart to give customers the option of splitting the cost of their purchase into four separate interest-free payments, with other companies, including Four, Zip, Affirm and Splitit, offering similar services at food retail.
Another payment option seeing mass adoption is online acceptance of electronic benefits transfer and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (EBT SNAP) payments. Millions of shoppers throughout the United States depend on SNAP benefits, making this an important component of e-commerce operations across the grocery industry.