ApplePay - coming to Target stores

ApplePay -coming to Target

For those outside of the US, Target is a department store. When you buy with the Target credit card, you save 5% in store, free shipping when ordering from, and a few other perks. It looks like Apple hasn’t figured out a way to let users use ApplePay and still get the 5% discount- yet.

It’s Target’s fault their card doesn’t work with Apple Pay, not Apple’s.

I don’t think it’s a matter of Apple figuring out a way … it’s a matter of Target giving up it’s ability to keep control of customers and customers’ data and keeping the lid on payment processing fees to others.

Target is one of the original backers of CurrentC, the ill-fated payment system that was insecure and clunky, and it mined customers’ data. The competition included Apple Pay and Google Pay, and probably others as well. Apple Pay eventually won, being much more secure, easy to use and customer-friendly (in terms of privacy). Target, Walmart and others are resisting full implementations of Apple Pay, in favor of their own systems.

Most of the original CurrentC backers - CVS, Walgreens and others gave up now accept Apple Pay. Notable exceptions are Walmart and Target (at least for “full” implementation as noted in the original post).

I hope that Apple Pay will eventually win a “full” victory - universal acceptance at point of purchase and universal acceptance of credit cards. It works by generating a one-time payment code that pays the merchant - without giving up customer data or customer bank information. It appears to be the most secure and most customer-friendly payment option. The merchants don’t like that; they are used to obtaining customer data obtained from “swiping” mag-stripe credit cards or from issuing merchant-specific credit cards. And there is also the issue of merchants objecting to paying fees to 3rd-party payment processors.

Don’t expect the 900-pound gorillas of the retail world (Walmart and Target) to give up any more ground willingly.

All well and good, but we still don’t have apple pay anywhere around here. I wish they’d be a bit better at geography spread with flagship features… We’re just about the smallest country with only the 8th largest , and 4th most succesful economy in the world… but hey, who’s counting… :wink:

I love Apple Pay and have been an evangelist about supporting supporting retailers that offer it specifically. Glad that it’s coming to Target :dart:

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You don’t know that, unless you wrote the Apple code that doesn’t work.

Most of the original CurrentC backers - CVS, Walgreens and others gave up now accept Apple Pay. Notable exceptions are Walmart and Target (at least for “full” implementation as noted in the original post).

Did they really give up because ApplePay is better, or because Apple is big enough to bully everyone?

Given that we gong work inside of Aplle, we can’t know with any certainty that Apple Pay is more secure. It may be more convenient, but that’s just eye candy.

Certainly, some ground would need to be relinquished, but that means a lot of internal changes would need to be done at those stores. For them, that’s a loss of money and time.

It doesn’t stop me from shopping their, I haven’t used ApplePay yet, but I do admit I’m getting tired of carrying around a walker full of cards that can easily be dropped.

A universal (at least in any given country) form of purchasing was needed a long time ago, but no one wanted to conform to a standard, until recent times. Each store uses their own credit cards because they stand to make a lot of money off of the interest.

There isn’t anything Apple would have to code here. Apple Pay already works with the bank Target uses and passes along enough information to determine that a purchase happened at a Target store.

Here’s the page saying Target Red Card is issued by TD Bank:

Here’s the list of institutions which cards support Apple Pay. TD Bank (and pretty much everyone else) is on the list:

If I had a non-Target Red card from the same bank, it would work. The rewards could work with NFC because the card still receives the name of the merchant with an Apple Pay purchase. Target receives enough information from the transaction to handle rewards already, but either a) their software is set up to process rewards through the Target app, or b) they want to continue collecting the additional data from the phones using Target Red to pay through the Target app.

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They almost surely gave up because customers want to use Apple Pay. Virtually no one wanted to use CurrentC - it failed miserably. See links below. In the end, merchants need to provide customers what customers want.
Stories about CurrentC - make up your own mind:

There is no contest. Apple Pay is absolutely more secure than the old mag-stripe swipe card and the failed CurrentC scheme. Apple Pay uses encryption technology to generate a one-time use payment code. (Note: the same way the chip-card payment works.) The merchant submits that code to obtain payment from the card-issuing bank. Even if the merchant’s IT system is hacked, no useful data is available - no credit card data, no customer data, and the one-time code has already expired - plus, it’s payable only to the authorized merchant.

A mag-swipe card, in contrast, provides to the merchant customer data including name, address, credit card account, all of which is stored in the merchant’s IT system. What could possibly go wrong here? Remember the huge Target data breach? As of 2013, it was the largest ever data breach, affecting more that 41 million of the company’s customer payment card accounts. Data captured included full names, phone numbers, email addresses, payment card numbers, credit card verification codes, and other sensitive data.

As for the security of the CurrentC scheme, see the links above. TLDR version: Multiple QR codes on the merchant terminals and customers’ phones; customers’ shopping habits are tracked; customers must link the CurrentC app directly to their bank accounts. In short, a security nightmare.

We should all rejoice that the mag-swipe cards are going away, that CurrentC failed, and that chip-card and Apple Pay schemes are gaining acceptance. I try to avoid merchants that accept only mag-swipe card payments these days. I want to provide merchants only with payment; I don’t want to provide them with any other information, especially bank-related information. Merchants desperately want detailed customer information; Apple Pay doesn’t let them have it.


I love when I travel to Brussels and London and can use Apple Pay for pretty much every purchase. That convenience did result in a quick visit to the Bank of England last November because I had a few old style £5 notes left over from previous trips and missed the notice they were being replaced; still worth it for the convenience of Apple Pay.

The US is behind the curve when it comes to card technology. We only got chip cards a few years ago and those are still chip and signature instead of chip and PIN; the latter being more secure. On top of that, very few banks at the moment are issuing contactless cards so we don’t have as many point of sale terminals that can accept any form of contactless payment; most restaurants are still only using magnetic strip terminals. :rage:

It should work (Apple Pay + Target credit card = 5% discount). I just got the Amazon Prime Rewards card, issued through Chase, that gives a 5% discount at Amazon and Whole Foods. The card enrolled in Apple Pay on my iPhone and I know Whole Foods takes Apple Pay. The Target situation should be the same when they start taking Apple Pay.

At Whole Foods they can still track you because they have items with additional discounts if you let them scan a QR code in your Amazon app. I would expect if Amazon accepted Apple Pay they would still know who you are because they ship you the merchandise.

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Yes, the U.S. is behind the most of the rest of the world in widespread implementation of latest credit card processing technology. The history is fascinating. I looked into this after listening to the Jan 15th episode of Clark Howard’s podcast (link below).

The U.S. is behind partly because the use of credit cards was widespread in the U.S. before most of the rest of the world. The infrastructure, particularly POS (point of sale) terminals, was implemented early. The cost of upgrading the technology is large. Merchants and banks are reluctant to pay for new technology when the technology is rapidly changing to contactless payments, EMV payments and mobile (phones and wearables - watches) payments. Historically the U.S. has had lower credit card fraud rates compared to the rest of the world, so there was less incentive to adopt newer, fraud-resistant technology. Some banks and CC processors hoped that mobile technology would leapfrog the EMV chip-and-pin technology, so they adopted a wait-and-see policy regarding requiring merchants to install newer POS terminals.

Data breaches due to hackers, including the Target data breach in 2013, was a wake-up call to the U.S. credit card industry. We are only now starting to catch up to the rest of the world in implementing fraud-resistant infrastructure on a widespread basis.

Interesting links:
Clark Howard podcast - Jan 15th

History of credit card processing

Target data breach - chip-and-pin technology

Target’s credit card has chip. I’ve been using it for several years.