To speed up shopping trips for its customers, 7-Eleven now takes Google Pay and Apple Pay at most of its U.S. locations. The new options are in addition to other mobile payment choices the chain offers, such as Samsung Pay, Chain Store Age reported.
“Frictionless experiences are the future, and digital payments are key to such experiences. Consumers prefer shopping at retailers that offer digital payment capabilities,” said 7-Eleven CDO and CIO Gurmeet Singh, according to the outlet. “The ability to pay with their smart devices gives consumers one more reason to shop at 7-Eleven.”
There are lot of 7-Eleven locations — nearly 70,000 worldwide and over 10,000 in the United States alone. By some estimates, about a quarter of the U.S. population lives within one mile of a 7-Eleven. They’re nearly universally recognizable as the brand behind the twin cultural forces of the Slurpee and the Big Gulp.
In a way, the typical 7-Eleven customer is everyone, by nature of their ubiquity. To keep up with the competition, the brand has been expanding and enhancing its digital offerings to match the reality that the bulk of American consumers are demanding smoother digital transactions. Earlier this year, Singh said, “when you fast-forward, you’re now looking to redefine convenience by building the experiences of the future, powered by digital.”
And, while nothing can truly render a brand Amazon-proof, what insulates 7-Eleven from the “Amazon effect” – to an extent – is the fact that a large segment of the company’s customer base would actually be quite poorly served by the Amazon Go model, which favors digital processing of payments, checkout data on the backend and limited interaction with human employees. Cash-based 7-Eleven customers use the store’s brick-and-mortar hub to pay bills, pay taxes and load Amazon Cash cards so they can shop digitally, even without a major credit card.