The Publix grocery store chain has announced that it will now be accepting contactless payments at every one of its 1,243 locations. The rollout includes support for Apple Pay, and also extends to Publix’s GreenWise Market banner.
The decision reflects public health concerns related to the coronavirus. Mobile wallets like Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay allow users to hold their phone near a payment terminal to complete a transaction. The utility negates the need to swipe a traditional credit or debit card, and increases the number of contactless payment options available to consumers.
That, in turn, is expected to reduce the risk of transmission and slow the spread of COVID-19.
“In these unprecedented times, we recognized the need to make our customers’ trips to our stores faster and more efficient,” said Publix CEO Todd Jones. “By expediting this payment option, we will help customers reduce contact with commonly used surfaces like PIN pads.”
Publix’s other public health measures include senior-only shopping hours and the installation of plexiglass sneeze guards at all registers. The company is also reducing store hours to free up more time for sanitization and restocking, and allowing employees to wear masks and gloves while on the job.
The response underscores the growing interest in contactless technologies in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, with multiple organizations pointing out that contactless options are more sanitary than shared, contact-based solutions. Mastercard has asked Canadian retailers to raise the payment cap for contactless transactions to $250 with those health concerns in mind.
In that regard, the coronavirus could accelerate a pre-existing trend towards contactless solutions. The Virginia DMV introduced support for Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, and Google Pay before the onset of the pandemic in North America, while MarketsandMarkets has predicted that the touchless sensing market will be worth $15.3 billion in 2025.
Source: Tampa Bay Business Journal