Woolworths Rewards to partner with Apple

Sally McMullen 20 September 2017 NEWS

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Woolworths customers can soon use their iPhones to collect and redeem points.

Woolworths customers’ wallets are about to get a little lighter thanks to a new alliance between the supermarket giant and Apple. Next month, Woolworths customers will be able to use their iPhones to collect and redeem Woolworths Rewards points at the supermarket and its partners.

Similar to how you can currently use your Woolworths Rewards card, loyalty members will need to present their phone at the point of sale and by using their fingerprint authentication can earn or redeem points at the checkout. As usual, members can earn 1 Woolworths Reward point per $1 spent and will need 2,000 Woolworths Rewards to redeem $10 off their shop.

Woolworths and Apple are expected to officially announce the partnership this week and will launch in mid-October.

The supermarket told the Australian Financial Review that this union aims to create a smoother and more convenient shopping experience for its customers.

Woolworths Rewards currently has 10 million members and this new alliance makes it the first Australian retailer to team its loyalty program with Apple Wallet, although similar alliances have happened in the US and UK.

This move is the latest attempt made by Apple to grow the presence of Apple Wallet and Apple Pay Down Under. Since its launch in April 2016, Apple Pay has partnered with the likes of American Express, ANZ, ING, HSBC and a bunch of other banks and credit unions under its partnership with Cuscal. However, it has failed to work with big banks such as CommBank, Westpac and NAB because of the battle over access to Apple’s NFC (near field communication).

In March 2017, the ACCC rejected the banks’ application to negotiate with Apple to get access to the NFC on the grounds that it would discourage healthy competition between Apple and Android digital wallets. As well as getting access to Apple Pay, the banks also wish to access Apple’s NFC antenna so they can offer their own digital wallets on iOS devices.

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