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Android Pay launches loyalty card integration, starting with Walgreens

Walgreens becomes first retailer to integrate its rewards card program with Android Pay. You can now get your loyalty points when you pay with your phone.

Published onAugust 22, 2016


I don’t know about you, but I’m not a fan of packing my wallet with loyalty/reward/stamp cards from shops I find myself back to. Thankfully, there are other options, at least technically. Both Android Pay and Samsung Pay support baking loyalty programs right into these virtual payments, but the concept has apparently been lost on retailers. Thankfully this changes today, as the first loyalty program to offer Android Pay integration has arrived – Walgreens Balance Rewards.

Android Pay vs Apple Pay vs Samsung Pay: Pros and cons

Walgreens has made sure that the logging in your rewards upon checkout is seamless; it just involves two taps on the PIN pad, the first to confirm your rewards information and the second to make the payment. You, of course. first have to install the Android Pay app and add your Walgreens Balance Rewards card virtually, which is now available. Google has a support page on the specific subject. Oh, and also make sure that NFC is enabled on your phone.

Google’s senior director, Pali Bhat, emphasized the goal to make in-store payments simpler for users and that the team has worked to get Balance Rewards integrated with Android Pay across the US, ‘giving customers instant, frictionless access to their loyalty card when they pay’. It’s said to be supported in nearly 8,200 Walgreens stores nationwide, so chances are that your phone won’t get rejected at the checkout counter.

Now if we can only get more retailers to jump on board. Are you glad to see loyalty cards finally make their way to Android Pay?

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