Kroger Begins Taking Apple Pay as Shoppers Demand Easier Payments


After nearly a decade of holding out, Kroger is beginning to accept Apple Pay.

In the past week, multiple reports of Apple Pay appearing in the grocery giant’s stores have circulated from social media (including Reddit and Twitter), and now the company is confirming the reports.

“We do accept Apple Pay in some of our Kroger Family of Stores as well as Kroger Pay in our store. We would be happy to share your feedback,” the grocer’s official Twitter account has been responding to multiple users complaining of the lack of the option.

Kroger did not immediately respond to PYMNTS’ request for comment.

In the eight and a half years since Apple Pay launched, the grocer has refrained from offering the option, looking to drive adoption of its own mobile payment feature, Kroger Pay, accessible through shoppers’ loyalty accounts on the Kroger app, which the company rolled out in the early months of the pandemic. Yet, demand for Apple Pay remained.

Many consumers are accustomed to paying with their mobile wallets at the grocery stores. Research from PYMNTS’ fall study, “Connected Wellness: The Next Prescription for Healthcare Providers — Digital Wallets,” which drew from a September survey a census-balanced panel of more than 2,600 U.S. consumers, revealed that roughly 1 in 4 had used digital wallets to pay for their most recent grocery purchase.

Moreover, about half of all mobile wallet transactions are Apple Pay, per PYMNTS’ study, “Mobile Wallets Adoption: Apple Pay @8 – Still the Big Fish In A Small Mobile Wallets Pond,” which is based on a census-balanced survey of more than 2,200 U.S. smartphone owners. In fact, the study found that groceries accounted for 53% of all mobile wallet purchases and 56% of Apple Pay transactions in Q2 2022.

In an interview with PYMNTS last year, Debbie Guerra, chief product officer at ACI Worldwide, noted that digital payment adoption was markedly accelerated by the pandemic.

“We’ve seen, with the millennials, the Gen Zers, that they were already eager to continue to adopt digital payments,” Guerra said. “What has happened, though, is that as COVID continued, the ongoing shift to digital has become embedded.”

Indeed, the majority of consumers continue to try new payment methods. PYMNTS’ study “New Payments Options: Why Consumers Are Trying Digital Wallets,” created in collaboration with Nuvei, which draws from a survey of nearly 2,500 U.S. consumers, finds that 52% had tried out a new payment method in the last year, with that share rising to 70% for millennials and a whopping 79% for gen Z consumers.

This adoption of new payment methods comes as digital technologies for in-store use blur the lines between eCommerce and brick-and-mortar shopping, and merchants are adapting to meet consumers’ evolving expectations of omnichannel convenience.

In an interview with PYMNTS’ Karen Webster, Adyen Global Head of Unified Commerce Brian Dammeir said, “The way we look at the evolution of the next five to 10 years is that the distinction between digital eCommerce and in-person interactions is starting to gray and frankly is probably going to eliminate over time.”