Kroger Launches Kroger Pay Mobile Payments, Backs It Up With New Rewards Card

February 18, 2019         By: Steven Anderson

You’ve got to hand it to Kroger. It would be easy—almost too easy—to just dismiss any future changes or growth potential as unnecessary, that no one would ever stop patronizing a grocery store. That sheer inertia will hold the market share in place nigh on to forever. But that’s not the stand Kroger’s taking, and that’s demonstrated by its latest move: a new commitment to mobile payments, as exemplified by its new service: Kroger Pay.

Kroger Pay is connected to any Kroger app for Android or iOS, and customers have a range of options to secure that product as well. They can protect it with a custom code, with the app’s own in-built quick response (QR) code operations, or with biometrics to provide their payment and loyalty card information. Better yet, the app can use not only currently-available Kroger coupons, but also any personalized offers that may be made available.

It can effectively link to most any major-release credit, debit, or even prepaid card, and works as self-pay as well. It also connects to the new loyalty program the store brought out, which allows a direct connection between payment and rewards. Those who use the Rewards loyalty debit card that’s part  of the new platform will get double rewards points when using it with Kroger Pay.

The bad news, however, is that the program will only be starting in 10 markets. Before the year is up, however, look for a complete nationwide rollout.

I’m not a Kroger shopper—nearest one is a bit too far for me—but if I weren’t, this would be enough to make me consider switching stores. The system seems almost shockingly easy to use, and that direct connection to a rewards program is an excellent move. This is going to make Kroger Pay a very popular platform, and since it only works in the one place, it may actually be used even if it’s not on the front screen of a smartphone.

Kroger’s hit on a real masterpiece here, and it’s a safe bet that its current user base will flock to it. Whether it breaks market share away from Walmart, Target, Meijer or elsewhere remains to be seen, but it’s certainly made a good case for itself.