Equinox Payments has announced that all of its checkout terminal models now support Android Pay integration with retailer loyalty programs, and claimed to be first terminal provider to bring the latest version of the Google-backed payment solution to all its product lines, including the L5300 multi-lane terminals used by drugstore chain Walgreens.
Members of retailers’ loyalty programs, such as Walgreens Balance Rewards, can now access their loyalty points, coupons or gift cards and earn more points at checkout by tapping their Android Pay-enabled phones at the point-of-sale terminals. A second tap applies payment from the card of their choice, although Equinox said retailers could choose to have loyalty and payment information conveyed in a single tap.
The integration to Android Pay is enabled at the software level through Equinox's baseline software, so retailers and software partners that develop solutions on Equinox’s Apollo, L5000 and Luxe terminal lines are eligible to use the capability immediately. Just a few steps must be performed to implement the technology and activate features aligned with specific loyalty programs.
Walgreens last summer became the first retailer to integrate its loyalty program with both Apple Pay and Android Pay, the latter via Equinox’s L5300s. It seems to be cutting a different path to supporting mobile payments than retailers such as Wal-Mart and Walgreens' direct competitor CVS, both of which have rolled out their own branded payment apps.
Perhaps Walgreens' interest in accepting third party mobile payment apps is what provided Equinox with confidence to integrate Android Pay across all of its terminal models. Or maybe, Equinox just sees enough evidence that the payments market is tipping toward mobile apps, and believes it’s time to make sure that all of its retailers can tie their loyalty programs into options like Android Pay, or both.
Integration with loyalty programs is widely viewed as a key to getting more consumers to use mobile payment apps at retailers. Wal-Mart and Starbucks are among others that have integrated their loyalty programs with mobile payment apps.
The most important aspect of putting any new capability like this in place at checkout is making sure that it is completely frictionless for customers to use. Having Android Pay integrated into its baseline software should encourage all Equinox retailers to activate Android Pay tie-ins to their loyalty programs.