Woolies set to link rewards card with Apple Pay platform

Wednesday 20 September 2017

Article by Kelly Emmerton

Apple Pay users can soon add one more card to their digital wallet, with major supermarket Woolworths set to link its rewards card to the mobile platform, reported the Australian Financial Review.

As soon as next month, iPhone users hitting the checkout at Woolies will be able to use their phones to earn points or redeem discounts with a Woolworths loyalty card by using fingerprint authentication. The points earn rate is the same for Apple Pay users as it is for those with a physical card, netting spenders 1 point per $1 spent.

Head of digital and payments at Woolworths, Paul Monnington, told The Australian Financial Review that joining up with Apple Pay was aimed at improving the customer experience for shoppers.

"They don't have to carry their physical card around, it's much easier when they tap their phone, they can look at their balances and know when they can get their $10 off – there are a number of different benefits for the customer," he said.

Although for now the news only concerns the Woolies store loyalty card, it's expected that this could eventually lead to Woolworths branded credit cards being included on the Apple Pay platform.

"There's potential for that but right now this is the start of our journey," Monnington told the AFR.

RELATED: Does this give Woolies an edge on Coles rewards? Read our guide to supermarket rewards and decide for yourself

The alliance, which brings the mobile payment platform to Woolies 10 million loyalty scheme members, is good news for Apple which has had some trouble convincing some of Australia’s biggest banks to get on board.

Westpac, NAB and the Commonwealth Bank have resisted Apple Pay, despite embracing other mobile payment platforms such as Android Pay, Samsung Pay and Tap and Pay. Earlier this year, those big banks, along with some others, collectively lobbied to have their own apps be made available on iPhones instead of taking up Apple Pay, but were ruled against by the ACCC.

Other card providers, including ANZ, Amex and Australian Unity have embraced Apple Pay, which can be used at any contactless payment terminal.

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