Safeway is starting to roll out Apple Pay, Apple’s biometrically secured mobile payment service, across its US stores.
News of the effort came by way of a tweet, with the west coast-focused grocery chain’s official account asserting, “We are in the process of rolling it out through the month of October,” in response to a customer inquiry. And while social media statements aren’t always representative of official policy, whether they’re from a major retailer or the President, there are already anecdotal reports indicating that Apple Pay support has started to emerge in at least some Safeway stores.
Safeway’s support should in some small way prove helpful to Apple, which hasn’t seen mass acceptance of its mobile payment platform in the retail sector. A range of major chains do support the service, to be sure, but there have also been major holdouts, most notably Walmart and its closest affiliates.
In any case, Apple has doubled down on its exploration of financial services, with plans to release Apple Pay Cash, a service that will allow iOS users to essentially send money transfers to each other via text message. It isn’t clear how profitable this effort is expected to be, but it could offer the overarching benefit of getting more iPhone users in the habit of using their devices for transactions, which in turn could bring more users around to Apple Pay. And those users will appreciate being able to pay with their phones when they’re buying their groceries.