Publix will now accept payments via Apple Pay as a way to cut down on direct contact amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The technology has been around and popular for the last several years — Apple Pay launched in 2014 — but Publix had never accepted mobile payments. Before Thursday’s announcement, the company’s only mobile payment option its own smartphone app.
Publix says some stores are already equipped and now accept Apple, Google and Samsung Pay. The service will be available by April 4 at all stores, including GreenWise Market locations.
“In these unprecedented times, we recognized the need to make our customers’ trips to our stores faster and more efficient,” Publix chief executive Todd Jones said in a news release. “By expediting this payment option, we will help customers reduce contact with commonly used surfaces like PIN pads.”
Contactless payments are made by placing a smartphone or a contactless pay-enabled card near a pay pad that accepts the mobile transactions. The shopper doesn’t have to swipe or insert a card or enter a PIN.
Pay pads are one of the most-touched surfaces in stores. Publix has said it regularly sanitizes the touch pads and screens in efforts to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Other retailers also are late to the mobile payment option. Walmart still does not accept Apple Pay or any of its competitors. It has its own Walmart Pay system.
Retailers including McDonald’s, Starbucks, Target and Best Buy have long accepted the contactless payments.
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