The Kroger Co. debuted a new mobile payment option Wednesday that is launching in Columbus and Colorado but expanding to all stores nationwide by year end.
Kroger Pay is an app that generates a single-use QR code that can be scanned at the checkout counter to pay for a Kroger purchase. The app can be linked to any major credit or debit card. Kroger is also launching the Kroger Rewards debit card so payments, fuel points and other rewards can be tied to each purchase.
"Kroger Pay is one of the few mobile wallets that pairs loyalty and payment," said Mary Ellen Adcock, group vice president of operations. "The application of this exciting technology is another step in our front-end experience transformation."
Kroger has been talking about establishing payment options via cell phone for more than two years. Vice President Matt Thompson told WCPO it was on his "to do list" in 2016. In late 2017, Kroger struck a deal with JP Morgan Chase to accept the Chase Pay digital wallet in up to 600 stores.
The joint launch of Kroger Pay and Kroger Rewards allows Kroger to target special offers to customers that use both -- increasing customer loyalty while improving the speed of checking out. Kroger said the new payment system will expand to 10 cities this spring, then "go nationwide" later this year.