Apple Pay Hits Aldi As Part of Payment Push

September 26, 2017         By: Steven Anderson

Apple Pay just landed itself one doozy of a coup recently, but there’s a downside to this particular coup that’s worth pointing out. Apple Pay is now accepted at all nearly 1,700 Aldi locations in the United States, according to recent announcement from the company. That’s a big deal, but the downside is that Aldi is now accepting all forms of contactless payment, not just Apple Pay.

With the new payment system in place, customers will be able to tap a smartphone, contactless-capable bank card, or wearable device against a payment terminal to complete a transaction. Given that a growing number of grocery stores are accepting Apple Pay—ranging from Giant Food and Trader Joe’s to recent Amazon purchase Whole Foods—it was clear that Aldi too needed to advance.

Word from Apple’s financial head Luca Maestri noted that Apple Pay was currently top dog in terms of near-field communications (NFC) based mobile payments on mobile devices, accounting for almost 90 percent of all transactions worldwide. A hefty 75 percent of such transactions take place outside of the United States. Apple has also been seen steadily expanding the fortunes of Apple Pay, and recently branched out to be part of the Citi Bike bicycle sharing service in New York.

This is basically a good news / bad news situation for Apple. The good news is that it’s just made one whopper of an expansion and in a store that probably quite a few Apple Pay users are already in. The bad news is that this doesn’t give Apple much of a competitive edge, because most of its contemporaries made the exact same expansion at the same time. Instead of getting a 1,700 store edge on Samsung Pay and the like, Samsung Pay and the like stepped right into the same expansion.

This makes the big winner here like Aldi itself, who just gave its customers a whole slew of new ways to pay, including quite a few ways that might increase spending at the individual stores as well as satisfy the customer’s desire for convenience.

 

Still, Apple Pay’s market is now that much wider, and its users that much more likely to stick around. It may not be the most decisive win, but it’s a win nonetheless.