The pilot will be introduced in the Seattle, Washington area, the company said, and will let customers use their mobile phones to pay in a seamless manner. The method is a popular one in the time of the pandemic, as people try to avoid making contact with one another to avoid spreading the coronavirus.
So far, the contactless pay app has been introduced in 61 QFC stores.
According to the press release, the Kroger app will be compatible with "Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay, Fitbit Pay, mobile banking apps and contactless chip cards, underpinned by near-field communication (NFC) technology." NFC, according to the release, means a radio frequency field is employed to transmit the data between a mobile device and a PIN pad, which does away with the need for any physical contact.
The solution aims to provide "an additional way to pay for their fresh food and household essentials," said Chris Albi, president of QFC, in the release.
"The contactless payment solution will help make life easier for many of our customers and provide the freedom of choice among various options, including cash, debit, credit and check," Albi said.
Kroger Senior Director of Payments Kathy Hanna said the innovation is intended to improve the customer experience.
"Providing our customers with flexibility — whether that means having the option to choose between shopping in-store or online for groceries or how you pay for them — we are committed to personalizing their shopping trip," she said in the release.
Kroger's work on going digital boosted its first quarter earnings, with the chain seeing a 19 percent jump year over year, which totaled $42 billion in sales. Digital sales specifically saw a 92 percent surge, PYMNTS reported.