Grocer Kroger Co. has snubbed Apple Pay and other third-party payment solutions by rolling out its own homegrown QR code-based mobile payments solution.
The Kroger Co. debuted a new mobile payment option Wednesday that is launching in Columbus and Colorado but expanding to all stores nationwide by year end.
Kroger Pay is an app that generates a single-use QR code that can be scanned at the checkout counter to pay for a Kroger purchase. The app can be linked to any major credit or debit card. Kroger is also launching the Kroger Rewards debit card so payments, fuel points and other rewards can be tied to each purchase.
“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.”
The grocery chain expects to roll the payment solution to then additional cities by this spring, with plans to go nationwide by the end of 2019. The company also debuted a new “Kroger Rewards” debit card, designed to tie store rewards to Kroger Pay purchases.
Many payment solutions, such as Apple Pay, Android Pay, and Samsung Pay use NFC to securely transfer payment information from a phone or smartwatch to a point of sale terminal. Kroger’s solution uses QR-codes based on visual authentication assets, which can be more easily stolen by hackers.