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Walgreens links rewards card with Android Pay

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Drug chain is first retailer to integrate Google platform nationwide

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens has integrated its Balance Rewards customer loyalty program with Google’s Android Pay mobile payment platform.

Android Pay device at terminal_Walgreens

Customers add their Balance Rewards card information to the Android Pay app.

The drug chain said Monday that Balance Rewards members using Android smartphone and mobile devices can now earn and use loyalty points without having to separately scan or enter their Balance Rewards card at checkout at all of its nearly 8,200 stores.

Walgreens noted that it’s the first retailer to link its rewards program to Android Pay across its stores nationwide.

With the Android Pay integration, the 85 million-plus Balance Rewards members can apply their loyalty account through the two dominant mobile platforms. Last November, Walgreens became the first merchant to integrate its rewards program with Apple Pay.

“We’re continually looking at ways to enhance the customer experience through innovative and forward-thinking technologies,” Abhi Dhar, senior vice president and chief information officer at Walgreens, said in a statement. “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.”

Users can add their Balance Rewards card information to the Android Pay app downloaded on Google Play. Before making a purchase, members hold their Android device near the PIN pad at checkout, and the rewards information is applied. They then hold their Android device near the PIN pad to make the payment. Walgreens noted that users will continue to receive all of the rewards and benefits offered by credit and debit cards.

“We want to make in-store payments simpler for everyone, so we’ve worked with Walgreens to implement Balance Rewards with Android Pay in their stores nationwide, giving customers instant, frictionless access to their loyalty card when they pay,” stated Pali Bhat, senior director of product management at Google. “Now Walgreens customers can speed through the entire checkout process in as few as two taps with their Android phones.”

Walgreens added that besides Android Pay and Apple Pay, customers can make purchases with most standard credit and debit cards, EMV chip credit cards and other mobile wallets at its drug stores across the country.


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