Shoppers at major supermarket Woolworths can now scan a code to both check-in and check out, with the retailer being the first to roll out QR code payments across their stores nationally.
Customers will be able to link their chosen payment method to a digital wallet, through the company’s Everyday Rewards app. Scanning the QR code at checkout will then process the payment and scan the customers’ loyalty card simultaneously, with a receipt being sent to their phone afterwards.
QR code payments were touted as the next step in Australia’s payments landscape late last year, with major payments service Eftpos saying the option could become as prevalent as tap-and-go given how comfortable consumers are with using the technology in light of the pandemic.
Woolworths’ managing director of Everyday Rewards, Hannah Ross, told The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald the ubiquity of QR codes post-COVID was a significant factor in the company’s decision.
“We’ve seen a big shift in digital adoption as customers are feeling more comfortable scanning QR codes while on the move, which we weren’t really doing so much before the pandemic,” she said. “The ability to pay with a QR code now seems so much more normal than it did years ago.”
Woolworths is the first major retailer to allow customers to pay via QR, a service it is offering in its supermarkets, Metro stores and Big W locations.
The codes will be available at both self-serve and traditional checkouts, appearing on the point-of-sale terminals where shoppers usually enter their payment details.
Ross says around one million Woolworths customers already use the company’s Everyday Rewards app each week and the retailer expects those shoppers to be quick adopters of the new payment method.
“It’s really about solving that customer pain point of missing out on their rewards points when they forget to scan, and just making a more convenient, seamless experience at the checkout,” she said.
Woolworths’ recently established Wpay payments arm built the QR payments technology for the retailer and could offer the same tech to other businesses down the track, Ross said.
A number of other retailers and banks are also trialling QR payments tech, meaning Woolworths will likely be the first of many Australian merchants supporting the new offering.
“It is something we’re expecting to see a lot more of,” Ross said. Woolworths has a total of 13 million Everyday Rewards members across Australia, the country’s second-largest rewards program behind Qantas’ Frequent Flyer scheme.
A spokesperson for Coles told The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald the supermarket was also working on deploying QR code payments across its stores and online platforms.
“We plan to create an omnichannel store experience for our customers using QR code payments through flypay via the Coles App,” the spokesperson said.
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