- 7-Eleven said this week that mobile payment systems Apple Pay and Google Pay will be accepted at most of its nearly 8,000 U.S. stores this month, according to a press release. The convenience retailer already accepts Samsung Pay. The rollout began in August, reported AppleInsider.
- Mobile payment is among a growing list of digital advances at 7-Eleven, according to the release. These include the 7-Eleven NOW smartphone app which enables mobile ordering and delivery; 7-Eleven Rewards; the 7-Eleven Bot on Facebook Messenger; Amazon Locker and Amazon Cash; and the BillPay app powered by PayNearMe.
- 7-Eleven also will hold its first "Next Up" event for new and emerging brands on Oct. 11 at the 7-Eleven Store Support Center in Irving, Texas. The brands present products in an expo setting, and executives can attend merchandising, logistics and operations workshops, the company also said Wednesday.
For mobile payment systems to gain traction with consumers they must first be accepted by a critical mass of stores. With 7-Eleven's announcement, along with others, app-based payments may be starting to reach that tipping point.
For example, Costco last month joined a long list of retailers accepting Apple Pay, Google Wallet and Samsung Pay. According to AppleInsider, eBay has begun implementing Apple Pay and CVS Pharmacy will start rolling it out this year, Apple CEO Tim Cook said during the July quarterly conference call.
Mobile payment apps have gotten off to a slow start and there have been conflicting analyses of their market potential. For instance, customer use of digital wallets stalled in the past year because the services haven't given consumers sufficient incentive to use them, 451 Research said. By some measures, shoppers prefer retailer-specific payment apps, like Starbuck's and Walmart Pay, over Apple Pay, Android Pay and others, Parks Associates reported.
But many studies predict a bright future for mobile payment apps. Forrester reports that proximity payment is the fastest growing segment of mobile payments, predicted to reach $90 million by 2017. Juniper Research also had positive predictions for the technology, saying 2.1 billion consumers will use mobile payments by 2019, and eMarketer predicted mobile payments will reach $314 billion by 2020.
Among other large retailers accepting Apple Pay are Circle K, Office Depot, Walgreens, Whole Foods Market and Starbucks, according to GadgetHacks. Jennifer Bailey, Apple Pay VP, said in January that the payment app is now accepted in 50% of all retail stores, GadgetHacks added. Starbucks, Walmart, Target and CVS have their own digital wallets, as do Citibank, Chase and Wells Fargo. Starbucks has the most popular mobile payment app by usage in the U.S. and will retain that lead at least until 2022, according to eMarketer.
"Frictionless experiences are the future, and digital payments are key to such experiences. Consumers prefer shopping at retailers that offer digital payment capabilities," Gurmeet Singh CDO and CIO of 7-Eleven, said in the press release.