Shoppers will be able to use their phones to pay in Target stores later this year, but it won’t necessarily be with Apple Pay or Android Pay.
Instead, Target plans to introduce mobile payment features to one or more of its own apps, the retailer’s Chief Information and Digital Officer Michael McNamara told Recode last week at a National Retail Federation conference in New York City.
It’s not clear if Target will add the payment feature to its main Target app, its popular Cartwheel coupon app or both. A spokesman declined to comment further.
Target will be following in the footsteps of other big retailers like Walmart and Kohl’s who have added mobile payment features to their own apps over the last year, in the wake of offerings from Apple, Google and Samsung. All three of the big-box stores had originally backed a separate payment app, CurrentC, but it never launched widely.
In the case of Kohl’s service, Kohl’s Pay, shoppers can use the app to both pay and earn rewards points with a single scan at checkout. McNamara said it would make sense for Target to offer store shoppers a way to both pay and use a digital coupon in one step.
McNamara said the Target payment service will only be available to shoppers who have a Target REDcard — “at least initially.” REDcards are debit or credit cards that come with perks like 5 percent off Target purchases and free shipping on online orders.
Apple Pay is a payment option for online purchases in the Target app. But it’s not a payment option in Target stores.