Target Introduces In-Store Mobile Payments

Target are competing with Apple Pay with new mobile payments.


Multi-billion-dollar retail store, Target, will soon be competing with the likes of Apple and Walmart as they aim to introduce mobile payments.

Michael McNamara, Source: Target

While Apple Pay is still available to use online, Target have announced plans to introduce their own payment features for in-store. Chief Information and Digital Officer at Target, Michael McNamara, discussed this at the National Retail Federation conference in New York.

He stated that the mobile payment will “initially” only be available to Target REDcard holders. REDcards are debit or credit cards that provide certain benefits to consumers, including free shipping for online orders. However, McNamara did not rule out a potential expansion in the future.

In a press release, McNamara talked about Target’s long-term plans and indicated that the mobile payments are only the beginning of an ongoing process to digitally transform Target.

“We’ve got lots of work to do still, of course, but I’m excited about the progress we’ve made and what’s in store for Target’s future,” he said.

Creating a more seamless customer experience when processing transactions has been a hotly contested area in retail, with Amazon recently announcing their trial of their bricks and mortar store, Amazon Go. 

Improving the customer experience is a crucial aspect of mobile applications, and Target are aiming to solidify a strong relationship with customers through the use of both a benefits scheme and an updated payment system.

Encouraging continued loyalty from their customers, Target already offers its Cartwheel app to customers which provides a barcode that they can use at the checkout to receive discounts and save money on their purchases.

With the success of Target’s Cartwheel app reaching 27 million shoppers in the last three years, the new mobile payment could prove to be another significant step forward for the retail store.

Although it would be logical to assume the new mobile payment system would be added to this existing application, it is yet to be confirmed whether this will feature on the Cartwheel app or the main Target app.

McNamara highlighted this as a key point, as he said that it would be a logical decision to ensure Target paying and digital coupons can be used together.

Plans to launch a payment application have been rumoured since December 2015, and with many other stores such as Kohl’s and Walmart introducing similar payment systems, Target are set to enter a competitive market in 2017. Although it may be difficult to compete with giants such as Apple Pay, Target is slowly becoming a more digitally-progressive company and prioritising the customer experience.