retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Kroger announced yesterday that it launched a new proprietary mobile payments system, dubbed Kroger Pay, in its Columbus, Ohio, division, which it describes as being able to “securely combine a customer's payment and loyalty card information to create a faster checkout experience.”

According to the announcement, “Kroger Pay is a quick, safe and easy-to-use feature within the Kroger Family of Stores apps - available for iOS and Android devices. After a customer enters their custom PIN or biometrics, the app provides customers with a single-use QR code to scan at the terminal to quickly communicate payment and loyalty card information, which includes digital coupons and personalized offers. The single-step solution reduces checkout time and creates a more frictionless experience for both store associates and customers. Kroger Pay is available to use at both traditional checkout lanes and self-checkout stations.”

At the same time, Kroger is launched a new “Kroger REWARDS debit card,” described as “a payment option that connects directly to a customer's checking account. The Kroger REWARDS debit card offers benefits to customers, including bonus fuel points and Our Brands discounts, and the rewards double when the card is used through Kroger Pay.”

Gary Millerchip, CEO of Kroger Personal Finance, describes the initiatives as “redefining the customer experience by creating innovative ways to pay at our stores and online.”
KC's View:
I can understand why Kroger would want to do this, but I have to wonder how much appetite there is among the customer base for multiple payment systems all loaded on the same mobile device. I’m sure this is a question that has been asked and answered by the experts at Kroger … maybe it is just me, but I’m rejecting complexity these days, preferring fewer alternatives, edited selections, and relevant/resonant options.

Maybe I’m just getting old and cranky.