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CVS unveils its own mobile payment solution

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CVS Pay slated for nationwide rollout later this year

CVS mobile app_smartphone

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Health is piloting its own mobile payment tool called CVS Pay, designed to expedite the checkout process.

CVS said Thursday that CVS Pay, part of the CVS Pharmacy mobile app, is an end-to-end solution that integrates payment, prescription pickup and the ExtraCare loyalty program all in one scan.

So far, CVS Pay has been rolled out to select markets such as New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware, but plans call for a national rollout to begin later this year, according to the company.

CVS Pay works with all major credit cards (MasterCard, Visa, Discover and American Express) as well as debit, Health Savings Account and Flexible Spending Account cards. Like the CVS Pharmacy app, the digital payment tool is available for iOS and Android mobile devices.

CVS Pay_mobile app screen

To use CVS Pay, customers add their credit or debit cards in the CVS Pharmacy app.

“Over the past year, our digital team has brought to market numerous new digital tools — like CVS Pay — that make shopping at CVS Pharmacy easier and more convenient,” CVS Health senior vice president and chief digital officer Brian Tilzer said in a statement. “We’ve been excited by the level of customer adoption of these digital solutions, and we will continue our quick pace of innovation and deployment to make our customers’ health care experience even easier.”

To use CVS Pay, customers add their credit or debit cards in the CVS Pharmacy app. At the register in a CVS Pharmacy store, they show the checkout clerk the barcode in their app. The clerk then scans the barcode and rings up the purchases, and the customer selects a payment method from those stored in the app. The payment is then processed. Once the transaction is completed, the customer will receive a confirmation of payment in the app.

CVS noted that with the addition of CVS Pay, customers picking up prescriptions will get a more streamlined pharmacy experience. Via the CVS Pharmacy app, patients can get refills, manage multiple prescriptions, receive alerts when prescriptions are ready, and pick up their medication and pay for it using the single barcode in CVS Pay.

Customers also can link their ExtraCare card with CVS Pay so that one scan at checkout will process all ExtraCare deals, earn new rewards and handle payment for the transaction, CVS added. All verifications for payment and prescriptions — such as name, birth date, signature and PIN — occur directly in the app to facilitate transactions, the company said.

With the debut of CVS Pay, CVS joins fellow retailer Walmart in offering its own mobile payment tool. In December, Walmart launched Walmart Pay, which the company said made it the only retailer to offer its own payment solution that works with any iOS or Android device and with any major credit, debit, prepaid or Walmart gift card.

These single-retailer options add to an already crowded mobile payment field, which includes Apple Pay, Google’s Android Pay and Google Wallet, and Merchant Customer Exchange’s CurrentC, among others. In the chain drug arena, Walgreens was an early adopter of Apple Pay when it premiered in 2014. CVS doesn’t enable Apple Pay, Android Pay and Google Wallet transactions. Last August, Rite Aid announced that it would begin accepting Apple Pay and Google Wallet payments, as well as Android Pay.

Both CVS and Rite Aid participate in the Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX), developer of the CurrentC mobile payment system. Also accepted in select markets by such retailers as Walmart, Target, Kmart, Publix and Giant Eagle, CurrentC is billed by MCX as a more secure payment option.

Other popular mobile pay solutions include Visa Checkout, MasterCard’s Masterpass, Microsoft Wallet and Samsung Pay.


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