JPMorgan Strikes Deal With Kroger for Mobile Payments

14. December 2017.

The mobile payment wars are making their way to a grocery store near you.

Kroger Co., the largest U.S. supermarket chain, will begin offering JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s Chase Pay mobile wallet in certain markets beginning next year, the two companies said Tuesday in a statement. The partnership will be Kroger’s first venture into mobile payments as the retailer seeks to bring its shopping experience into the digital age.

Mobile payments have been slow to take off in the U.S. compared with other parts of the world as some merchants have balked at the higher fees associated with the technology and consumers have shown little interest in embracing it. Only about 0.5 percent of customer transactions on Visa Inc.’s network involves tokenized technologies such as wearables, digital wallets and mobile phones, the world’s largest payments network said at a conference in October.

Read more: Walmart Pay Could Surpass Apple in U.S. Mobile Payments

That’s prompted banks, card networks, retailers and technology companies to pour investment dollars into their own payment applications in the hopes of developing the winning combination that will drive consumer adoption. Apple Inc. recently debuted a person-to-person payments network in the hopes of increasing usage of its Apple Pay service, while JPMorgan acquired Merchant Customer Exchange LLC’s payment technology this year to expand its capabilities.

“With groceries, it’s a really key category for us, not only because of the volumes of transactions there, but because of the frequency,” said Tom O’Brien, JPMorgan’s managing director of Chase Pay.

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