One of America’s biggest retailers has officially opened up its internal loyalty program to Apple’s own payment platform, Apple Pay. Loyal customers who are involved in the Walgreens Balance Rewards scheme are now able to seamlessly link their account to Apple Pay, and gain the ability to earn and redeem loyalty points without the need for additional cumbersome activity that once involved scanning a Balance Rewards card or associated barcode at the counter.

The immediate availability of Apple Pay associated with the company’s Balance Rewards scheme means that more than 85 million customers are now capable of accessing and utilizing Apple’s payment service.


Sona Chawla, President of Digital and Chief Marketing Officer for the Walgreens chain, takes the opportunity to point out that Walgreens is the first company to take such steps:

We’re excited to be the first to provide our customers with increased ease of access to their Balance Rewards account and information when using Apple Pay. This offering supports our commitment to removing friction and enabling a simple and convenient customer experience.

Utilizing and interacting with the Balance Rewards scheme via Apple Pay will work in pretty much the exact same manner as making a contactless payments via a registered debit or credit card. Any of those 85 million eligible consumers are able to register a digital Balance Rewards card directly within the iOS Wallet application as a validated payment method. It’s then as simple as placing the device near a contactless payment terminal and authenticating via Touch ID when prompted. Simple, seamless, and entirely frictionless.


As previously mentioned, Walgreens is the first retailer to adopt Apple Pay in this particular way, but the move will likely pave the way for competing companies to follow suit. Considering how seamless the process of adding a digital card to the Wallet app is, and the fact that the whole ecosystem involving Apple Pay is intended to offer an efficient, secure, and seamless payment experience to the end-user, it would be madness for other prominent retailers to ignore what Walgreens is doing.

If you’re one of the many millions of Walgreens customers who qualify for this experience, then what are you waiting for? Get that digital card registered right now for use on your iPhone or Apple Watch.

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