Shopping at Walgreens just got a little easier for Android Pay users across the country because not only is the Apple Pay competitor accepted for payment at the convenience store, but customers can now also use and benefit from the Balance Rewards loyalty program without the need for any physical cards.
“We want to make in-store payments simpler for everyone, so we’ve worked with Walgreens to implement Balance Rewards with Android Pay in their stores nationwide – giving customers instant, frictionless access to their loyalty card when they pay,” said Pali Bhat, Google senior director, product management. “Now, Walgreens customers can speed through the entire checkout process in as few as two taps with their Android phones.”
More meaningful for Walgreens shoppers is the precedent that it sets: The chain is the first to integrate loyalty rewards into the Android Pay platform, opening the door for additional companies to jump in as well.
As more companies allow this kind of integration and customers grow more comfortable with the technology, brands will avoid one of the biggest obstacles in customer engagement today: The overwhelming number of cards and programs that consumers need to keep track of; by automatically applying discounts and points, customers are much more likely to engage in a larger number of programs.
“We’re continually looking at ways to enhance the customer experience through innovative and forward-thinking technologies,” said Abhi Dhar, Walgreens senior vice president and chief information officer. “We’re proud to have been the first retailer to integrate our loyalty program with the two leading mobile payment providers, and to give our customers another channel for greater access, choice and convenience with our loyalty program.”
While the need for plastic credit and debit cards is being lifted at Walgreens’ almost 8,200 stores, some consumers remain reluctant to ditch their wallets and move to Android (or Apple) Pay. With the addition of loyalty program benefits to these platforms, it may just be the key to bringing these consumers onboard. 

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