Target is gearing up to offer in-store mobile payments in its stores, representing one of the most significant moves yet by a major brick-and-mortar retailer to transform their in-store experience.
The decision, which was revealed at the NRF Big Show 2017, has not been elaborated on by the company itself, but some of the components of this move are becoming clear. Target’s CIO told Recode that the mobile payments solution would be rolled out gradually, with the first wave of access being limited to holders of Target’s branded debit or credit card, the REDcard.
It was also suggested that these mobile payment capabilities would be built into an upcoming version of Target’s Cartwheel app, which is used to engage consumers while shopping in stores.
Although mainstream acceptance of mobile payment options has been slow among consumers, this new adoption by one of America’s largest retailers could accelerate use of this payment method, especially as consumers become acquainted with the benefits of cardless payments, expanded payment options, shorter checkout lines, and more painless couponing.
The Centerpiece Of A Larger Mobile Movement
It’s easy to look at Target’s mobile payment plans and see a larger strategy being played out. Mobile payments will likely be used to drive adoption of the company’s Cartwheel app and the engaging in-store functionality it offers.
It is likely, for example, that customers would become more motivated to use these mobile solutions as they gain access to exclusive in-store discounts and more efficient third-party coupon management.
For Target, meanwhile, the use of mobile payment processing means opening up a new acquisition channel for valuable consumer data. This will ultimately be used to build personalized experiences in stores, supporting tailored promotions, product recommendations and customized content — all of which will make Target stores a more rewarding shopping destination.
The initiative offers no downsides, as long as Target is able to convince consumers to adopt this new approach to payment handling. Depending on its success, Target may help usher in long-overdue adoption of mobile payments.