Loyalty & Rewards

Walgreens Integrates Loyalty Program With Android Pay

Drugstore operator Walgreens announced on Monday (Aug. 22) that it became the first retailer to integrate its loyalty rewards program into Android Pay, the mobile payment system.

In a press release, Walgreens said members of its Walgreens Balance Rewards program can apply their loyalty account at checkout through Android Pay, increasing the convenience of earning and redeeming loyalty points. With the addition of Android Pay, Walgreens has expanded its portfolio of unified mobile payment solutions. With this new service, more than 85 million active Balance Reward members can use Android devices to earn and use loyalty points in its stores. That means they can leave their Balance Rewards card at home.

“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, in the press release. “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.”

The move to integrate Android Pay with its loyalty program comes at a time when the drugstore operator is redefining its eCommerce strategy. Earlier this month, Walgreens announced it was pulling the plug on Beauty.com and Drugstore.com in favor of focusing on its core Walgreens.com site. According to reports, both sites will be shut down by the end of September. “There were several options we considered to focus on shareholder return, but right now, our intention is to focus on Walgreens.com,” a company spokesman said. The two sites have been part of the Walgreens family since their acquisition in 2011 in a deal valued around $409 million. According to experts, the shutdown hints at a broader plan on the part of Walgreens to centralize its digital brand on health, wellness and beauty.

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