By Christine Kern, contributing writer
List of retailers accepting Apple Pay continues to expand.
When Apple Pay debuted in the fall of 2014, it was accepted by some 220,000 retailers nationwide, as Retail Insights reported, with early adopters including Macy’s, Bloomingdales, Walgreens, Staples, Subway, Nike, Subway, Petco, Radio Shack, Chevron, and McDonalds. As retailers and merchants continue to search for ways to entice shoppers with convenience, the list of adopters has steadily grown.
Of course, some major retailers including Walmart have opted out of Apple Pay and introduced mobile payment systems of their own. In December of 2015, Walmart announced that it was launching Walmart Pay, a rival mobile payment platform to directly challenge Apple, Alphabet, and Samsung. Walmart Pay integrates the ability to pay via major credit card, debit card, or preloaded Walmart gift card into Walmart’s mobile app.
But Apple Pay still dominates the mobile payment solution marketplace, with a 2016 poll from Piper Jaffray finding it to be the most desired tap-to-pay method (67 percent) with Android Pay and Google Pay coming in a distant second choice (18 percent), followed by PayPal (8 percent), and Samsung Pay (7 percent).
So it should be no surprise that struggling retailer, JCPenney is jumping on the Apple Pay bandwagon as part of its effort to reclaim revenue. The retailer has announced that its store credit card will now work with Apple Pay and that the mobile payment solution will be accepted at all of its store locations. There will soon also be an Apple Pay option for consumers using iPhones or iPads.
"We're always looking for new ways to leverage innovative technology solutions to deliver convenient and secure mobile payments for our retail partners," said Carol Juel, executive vice president and chief information officer, Synchrony Financial. "With the JCPenney credit card and the JCPenney Mastercard now ready to use with Apple Pay, the customer experience is taken to a whole new level."
The Apple Pay technology means that actual card numbers are not stored on devices or on Apple servers. A unique device account number is assigned, encrypted, and securely stored on the Apple device, and each transaction is authorized with a single-use unique dynamic security code.
"With Apple Pay at JCPenney, we're able to offer a faster, more seamless check out process by allowing our customers to pay for their purchases by simply holding their iPhone or Apple Watch near a point-of-sale terminal, rather than inserting a chip card," said Therace Risch, chief information officer for JCPenney, in a company statement. "And with the added convenience of our credit card as a payment option via Apple Pay, we're giving customers another compelling reason to join our credit card and loyalty programs."