Mobile

Convenience Store Chain Wawa Launches Its Own Mobile Payments

Giant coffee chains Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts may have rolled out their mobile payment and loyalty apps nationwide, but that’s no reason regional chains can’t get in on the action, too. East Coast convenience store chain Wawa has launched its own mobile app featuring gift-card-based digital payments and a rewards program, according to Mobile Commerce Daily.

The new Wawa app, which is available for Android and iOS devices, lets customers pay for orders within the app at Wawa’s 680 stores in the NYC-D.C. corridor and Florida. The approach sticks closely to the highly successful Starbucks model: App users buy a Wawa gift card (or actually receive one as a gift), upload the card to the app and then add funds for future purchases. The app also contains an automatic reload function that can be linked with a credit card.

The gift-card-based mobile payments also set Wawa up to implement CurrentC when it’s finally rolled out this year. Wawa joined the retailer group behind CurrentC, the Merchant Customer Exchange, two years ago.

Along with payments, the app lets customers earn points for purchases as part of a new rewards program, track their rewards status, and get recommendations for new products to buy based on previous items purchased.

App users can also check in on social media, look up nutritional information for in-store products, check store hours and directions, and view up-to-date fuel prices for Wawa stores that sell gas. (But users can’t collect rewards points for those gas purchases, or by buying dairy products, tobacco, alcohol or more gift cards.)

Customers who prefer not to use a smartphone (or can’t get the app for their phone) can still participate in the rewards program by buying a Wawa gift card and signing up on the chain’s website. Up to five gift cards can be registered on one user account.

Wawa is reportedly considering mobile food ordering capabilities through the app, but that’s still in the exploratory stage.

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