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Home Depot aims to put Apple Pay in all of its stores

May 6, 2015 05:20 PM

(Bloomberg)—Home Depot Inc. has the goal of offering Apple Inc.’s mobile-payment platform at its more than 2,000 stores, which would make it the largest retailer yet to accept Apple Pay.

“It’s something we’d like to do,” Steve Holmes, a spokesman for Atlanta-based Home Depot, No. 10 in the Internet Retailer 2015 Top 500 Guide, said Tuesday. However, a deal with Apple, No. 2 in the Top 500 Guide, isn’t in place, so the plan isn’t final, he said. The chain, which currently accepts PayPal, also may add other kinds of mobile payment, he said.

Customers already were able to use Apple Pay at some of Home Depot’s stores despite there not being an agreement. The world’s largest home-improvement retailer could accept mobile payments at those locations because its checkout terminals have near-field communication readers.

Those devices have now been turned off for the past few weeks during an upgrade of its point-of-sale system, Holmes said. That led to some inaccurate reports that Home Depot had dropped Apple Pay.

If it pushes ahead with the plan, Home Depot would join retailers like Macy’s Inc. (No. 7) and Whole Foods Market Inc. in embracing Apple Pay at stores. Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. also offers Apple Pay at its U.S. stores. Home Depot outranks the Walgreens chain, (No. 44) in total revenue, though the drugstore chain has more locations.

Many other retailers are betting on a mobile-payment option from the Merchant Customer Exchange, which was founded in 2012 by companies such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (No. 3)  and Target Corp (No. 16). That offering, CurrentC, is still being developed.

Apple’s ambitions

Apple, meanwhile, is counting on its new payment system to help expand into new services. And the biggest U.S. banks and credit-card networks see Apple Pay as a way to accelerate U.S. adoption of mobile payments. At stake is a market that’s likely to process $67 billion worth of sales this year, according to Forrester Research.

Apple Pay works with the newest versions of the iPhone, the 6 and 6 Plus, essentially turning them into digital wallets. Samsung Electronics Co. unveiled its own mobile-transaction system earlier this year. Samsung Pay is slated to be available in the third quarter in the U.S. and South Korea.

 

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