Grocer Kroger launches QR code-based payment service, snubs Apple Pay

Posted:
in General Discussion edited February 13
Grocery chain Kroger Co. rolled out a first-party mobile payments solution on Wednesday as it continues to rebuff third-party solutions like Apple's Apple Pay.

Kroger Pay


Dubbed Kroger Pay, the app-based solution generates single use QR codes on a customer's device, which are subsequently scanned by a Kroger cashier upon checkout. The service allows users to associate any major credit or debit card with the digital wallet.

Kroger launched Kroger Pay in Colorado and Columbus, Ohio, on Wednesday, with plans to expand availability to ten additional cities this spring before covering all stores nationwide by the end of 2019, reports local outlet WCPO. A separate Kroger Rewards debit card also debuted to tie store rewards to Kroger Pay purchases.

"Kroger Pay is one of the few mobile wallets that pairs loyalty and payment," said Mary Ellen Adcock, Kroger's vice president of operations. "The application of this exciting technology is another step in our front-end experience transformation."

According to the report, Kroger has been eyeing an entry into the mobile payments space for two years. In 2016, VP Matt Thompson said the launch of a digital wallet was on his "to do list," while the company in late 2017 entered an agreement to accept Chase Pay in some 600 stores. Chase Pay is built in part from the ashes of the CurrentC platform, a payments technology developed by the Merchant Customer Exchange consortium as a direct rival to Apple Pay. MCX ultimately abandoned the effort and sold CurrentC to JP Morgan Chase in 2017.

Kroger's adoption of a first-party service all but confirms that outside products like Apple Pay will not be accepted at the chain's nearly 2,800 grocery stores, at least in the near term.

Unlike Apple Pay, which employs NFC technology to securely transfer user credentials from an iPhone or Apple Watch to a compatible point of sale terminal, Kroger Pay and other QR code-based systems rely on visual assets that in some cases are more easily purloined by hackers. With one-time codes, Kroger's solution is more secure than static QR code options offered by competitors, but may not be as secure as Apple Pay's tokenized transaction technology that replaces credit card information with unique digital identifiers generated on a per-transaction basis.

As Kroger goes its own way with Kroger Pay, Apple's proprietary payment product is slowly picking up steam. Most recently, longtime holdout Target -- a member of MCX -- in January said it would adopt Apple Pay at its brick-and-mortar stores, while 7,000 Taco Bell and 2,200 Jack in the Box locations are slated to accept Apple's service in the coming months.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 52
    That's a bummer. So if it's an app, can it have a thing linked to it in Wallet? If not, I probably won't bother, though the card readers at the self checkouts at my local QFC are infuriatingly unreliable. Been hoping to be able to use Wallet on the Watch to check out at some point. Oh well.
    olswatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 52
    Good luck with that. 
    netmageanantksundaramtannertannertannercaladanianolsStrangeDaysAppleExposedbluefire1jbdragonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 52
    JFC_PAJFC_PA Posts: 354member
    Anything that has real credit card information is s dealbreaker. Too many cards replaced from vendor security breaks. 
    olsdhawkins541GeorgeBMacjbdragonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 52
    That's a bummer. So if it's an app, can it have a thing linked to it in Wallet? If not, I probably won't bother, though the card readers at the self checkouts at my local QFC are infuriatingly unreliable. Been hoping to be able to use Wallet on the Watch to check out at some point. Oh well.
    If it's anything like Walmart pay, then no. I have my Kroger rewards card in my Wallet app, and that's good enough for me. I've no interest in using any more standalone payment services. This is getting ridiculous with every company wanting their own piece of the pie, and forcing more confusion on customers. In addition, it is well-known that services like Walmart Pay scan your purchases (to find "savings" or build "recommendations"), but we all know they are logging information about who buys what, just to sell that information off to some advertiser. Apple Pay does not leak any details about purchases, so I think I will stick with that. I feel Kroger made a huge misstep here when they could have easily set up access for Apple Pay instead of devoting resources to make their own app (or to have it built in to their existing app), and it will probably be used by a very, very small number of people (I've never seen anyone use Walmart Pay and Walmart is always infinitely more crowded than Kroger is where I live).
    benji888fastasleepracerhomie3GeorgeBMacmobirdpatchythepiratejbdragonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 52
    I went to Target today, mostly to see if they had Apple Pay operating yet. There was no Apple logo on the card terminal, but it had the NFC payment logo so what the hell, I tried it. It worked. The checker said, "Hey you're like the third person to use that, it just rolled out Monday!" I was terribly tempted to tell him, it rolled out 3 years ago but Target snubbed it. But there is no sense pestering minimum wage checkout clerks about poor decisions by corporate management.
    tannertannertannermagman1979bageljoeyolsracerhomie3GeorgeBMacStrangeDaysRonnnieOAppleExposedjbdragon
  • Reply 6 of 52
    I’m going to give their app a 1 star review for no Apple Pay.  Target caved...
    netroxmacseekermagman1979olsracerhomie3kiehtanStrangeDaysmobirdpatchythepirateAppleExposed
  • Reply 7 of 52
    mwhitemwhite Posts: 205member
    The guy shouldn't have a smile on his face having to hold up is phone to make a purchase he should be frowning and saying what the hell where is Apple Pay.
    edited February 13 magman1979fastasleepolsGeorgeBMacmobirdAppleExposedjbdragonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 52
    mwhitemwhite Posts: 205member
    USMC5939 said:
    That's a bummer. So if it's an app, can it have a thing linked to it in Wallet? If not, I probably won't bother, though the card readers at the self checkouts at my local QFC are infuriatingly unreliable. Been hoping to be able to use Wallet on the Watch to check out at some point. Oh well.
    If it's anything like Walmart pay, then no. I have my Kroger rewards card in my Wallet app, and that's good enough for me. I've no interest in using any more standalone payment services. This is getting ridiculous with every company wanting their own piece of the pie, and forcing more confusion on customers. In addition, it is well-known that services like Walmart Pay scan your purchases (to find "savings" or build "recommendations"), but we all know they are logging information about who buys what, just to sell that information off to some advertiser. Apple Pay does not leak any details about purchases, so I think I will stick with that. I feel Kroger made a huge misstep here when they could have easily set up access for Apple Pay instead of devoting resources to make their own app (or to have it built in to their existing app), and it will probably be used by a very, very small number of people (I've never seen anyone use Walmart Pay and Walmart is always infinitely more crowded than Kroger is where I live).
    I tired Walmart Pay 2 times a few years ago it didn't work so I deleted the app.
    AppleExposedjbdragonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 52
    mwhite said:
    The guy shouldn't have a smile on his face having to hold up is phone to make a purchase he should be frowning and saying what the hell where is Apple Pay.
    That guy is either invested in it or paid for advertising.
    olsGeorgeBMacjbdragonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 52
    burnsideburnside Posts: 16unconfirmed, member
    USMC5939 said:
    I feel Kroger made a huge misstep here when they could have easily set up access for Apple Pay instead of devoting resources to make their own app (or to have it built in to their existing app), and it will probably be used by a very, very small number of people (I've never seen anyone use Walmart Pay and Walmart is always infinitely more crowded than Kroger is where I live).

    or just offer nothing? Credit cards work perfectly everywhere I visit. 
  • Reply 11 of 52
    So, I did not know, (or forgot), Kroger was one of the currenc holdouts. I hate Kroger but it’s the only place in my area with nearly reasonable prices on natural and organic foods. I’ve contacted them several times telling them they need to adopt Apple Pay, pass it on to management, the response was that they were not going to, kind of rude about it, no thanks for my interest or anything positive to say to me about it, or for contacting them.

    They don’t know how to manage their stores and they don’t know how to stock limited time major sale items, I have problems with their self check out too often, and, I gave up trying to use my own bags long ago because I would always need assistance, pressing “use my own bags” never works right, ...the list goes on. When I move again, I hope I will be able to avoid Kroger.
    GeorgeBMacStrangeDayspatchythepirateAppleExposedwatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 52
    It's really simple. Kroger has decided that the benefit to it's customers doesn't justify the cost of upgrading to contactless payment terminals. Apple Pay is only one of several contactless options, all of which require upgraded payment terminals to work. Kroger is delaying the inevitable and probably wasted a lot of money creating a program that will eventually transition to Apple Pay.
    anantksundaramracoleman29tyler82olsStrangeDaysmobirdnetmagepatchythepirateAppleExposedwatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 52
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,173member
    I would have loved to be in the board meeting to see this insanely idiotic decision being made, and the morons that made it. This kind of payment system has failed each and every single time it's been implemented. Why do they think it will be different in their case? It's shit for the consumer.
    mwhitetannertannertannermagman1979StrangeDaysbenji888netmagepatchythepirateAppleExposedwatto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 52
    Idiotic people. 
    magman1979StrangeDaysnetmagepatchythepirateAppleExposedwatto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 52
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 1,988member
    I rather use ApplePay or credit card but not Kroger App. Think about if all store chains have there own app to pay for purchases.
    magman1979GeorgeBMacAppleExposedwatto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 52
    Idiotic if u ask me.. ! I love using Apple Pay with my Watch.. and i make a point of supporting establishments that allow Apple Pay. No shortage of them now a days... id say 85% of my transaction are through Apple Pay now. So Krogers loss !
    edited February 14 netmagepatchythepirateAppleExposedwatto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 52
    USMC5939 said:
    That's a bummer. So if it's an app, can it have a thing linked to it in Wallet? If not, I probably won't bother, though the card readers at the self checkouts at my local QFC are infuriatingly unreliable. Been hoping to be able to use Wallet on the Watch to check out at some point. Oh well.
    If it's anything like Walmart pay, then no. I have my Kroger rewards card in my Wallet app, and that's good enough for me. I've no interest in using any more standalone payment services. This is getting ridiculous with every company wanting their own piece of the pie, and forcing more confusion on customers. In addition, it is well-known that services like Walmart Pay scan your purchases (to find "savings" or build "recommendations"), but we all know they are logging information about who buys what, just to sell that information off to some advertiser. Apple Pay does not leak any details about purchases, so I think I will stick with that. I feel Kroger made a huge misstep here when they could have easily set up access for Apple Pay instead of devoting resources to make their own app (or to have it built in to their existing app), and it will probably be used by a very, very small number of people (I've never seen anyone use Walmart Pay and Walmart is always infinitely more crowded than Kroger is where I live).
    Much like CVS pharmacy which finally caves on to Apple pay.....
    GeorgeBMacStrangeDaysnetmageAppleExposedwatto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 52
    I give it 6 months of active use before they realize how stupid this is. Another 6 months to end denial over it. And then another 6 months to go Apple Pay. 
    netmagestompypatchythepirateAppleExposedwatto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 52
    bageljoeybageljoey Posts: 1,755member
    Idiotic if u ask me.. ! I love using Apple Pay with my Watch.. and i make a point of supporting establishments that allow Apple Pay. No shortage of them now a days... id say 85% of my transaction are through Apple Pay now. So Krogers loss !
    It amazes me how many checkout clerks are amazed when I pay with my watch. We got to do a better job of utilizing this option to make it a “must offer” for retailers!

    GeorgeBMacjedwards87patchythepirateAppleExposedwatto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 52
    croprcropr Posts: 954member

    Unlike Apple Pay, which employs NFC technology to securely transfer user credentials from an iPhone or Apple Watch to a compatible point of sale terminal, Kroger Pay and other QR code-based systems rely on visual assets that in some cases are more easily purloined by hackers. With one-time codes, Kroger's solution is more secure than static QR code options offered by competitors, but may not be as secure as Apple Pay's tokenized transaction technology that replaces credit card information with unique digital identifiers generated on a per-transaction basis.
    It remains to be seen if a dynamic QR code solution is less secure than a tokenized transaction..  If the dynamic QR code is actually a representation of a secure token, they are theoretically identical in terms of security. 

    If a customer is using a QR code for an e-commerce transaction on the phone, than the QR code is even more secure than Apple Pay, as it is considered as an out of band payment (the payment uses a different channel than the e-commerce transaction)
    edited February 14
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