Apple Pay looks to get a lift from Walgreens’ 85 million Balance Rewards members

“Not having a company loyalty program tied to Apple Pay has kept the brakes on the rollout of Apple’s mobile payment system, but Walgreens Boots Alliance’s has become the first retailer to use Apple Pay in a customer loyalty rewards program,” James Detar reports for Investor’s Business Daily.

“Walgreens’ 85 million Balance Rewards members can now use their rewards account through Apple Pay without scanning a rewards card or barcode,” Detar reports. “Because shoppers’ cards never leave their wallets or purses, it’s seen as more secure than credit card transactions.”

“Walgreens Boots Alliance Chief Marketing Officer Sona Chawla cited easier access for customers to their Balance Rewards data with Apple Pay. ‘This offering supports our commitment to removing friction and enabling a simple and convenient customer experience,’ Chawla said in a press statement Thursday,” Detar reports. “Starbucks last month said that Apple Pay will come to its stores by the end of the year.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Yet another win for Apple’s revolutionary Apple Pay!

Walgreens preps launch of Apple Pay-linked loyalty rewards cards – October 28, 2015
Starbucks, KFC, and Chili’s to accept Apple Pay this year – October 8, 2015
Barclays to bring Apple Pay to the UK in early 2016 – October 7, 2015
Some Best Buy stores are now accepting Apple Pay – September 18, 2015
MCX CEO gone a day after Apple Pay lands Best Buy – April 28, 2015
Best Buy capitulates, to accept Apple Pay despite CurrentC allegiance – April 27, 2015
Major retailers see Apple Pay wave – November 17, 2014
In only 3 weeks, Apple Pay is changing how consumers pay – November 17, 2014
Boycott CVS and Rite Aid – October 27, 2014
Bad business: CVS and Rite Aid antagonize their most well-heeled customers by blocking Apple Pay – October 27, 2014
CVS stores reportedly disabling NFC to shut down Apple Pay – October 25, 2014
iPhone users earn significantly more than those who settle for Android phones – October 8, 2014
Yet more proof that Android is for poor people – June 27, 2014
More proof that Android is for poor people – May 13, 2014
Apple’s iOS dominates in richer countries, Android in poorer regions – March 25, 2014
Twitter heat map shows iPhone use by the affluent, Android by the poor – June 20, 2013


  1. Where I live, Walgreens is the pharmacy store equivalent of Apple. I could not be happier to have them in my neighborhood. They just devoured the RiteAid company, which has been the scourge of my neighborhood. Excellent! I’m very anti-monopoly. But when a great company engulfs a worthless crap company like RiteAid, all I’m worried about is the bad work culture of the crap company infecting that of the good company. Otherwise, great news.

    1. Many consumers lived to regret the day when the company they used to like grew to have monopoly power.

      Consider how differently Apple acts today now that it’s not an underdog. Focus on user experience is completely gone. As for security — I don’t believe for a minute that a bad actor within Apple couldn’t access significant private user info from you today either. Judging from how often Apple OSes and apps phone home via undocumented communication, it’s clear they’re tracking practically every step you take. The difference is that Apple pretends it can’t since it doesn’t necessary write the apps that collect personal information — it enables 3rd party users to do so. Given time, more and more iCloud breaches and app data leaks will occur. Not because Apple today is directly to blame, but because their focus on quality has been so lacking that security holes are inevitable. And let’s not forget that Apple used to be a small enough outfit that leadership could run a tight ship. Now Apple is bloated enough that it’s very easy for some renegade to abuse user trust.

      But don’t tell brand fanboys. They think that only elected representatives can be corrupted.

      1. Many consumers lived to regret the day when the company they used to like grew to have monopoly power.

        Oh, I know!

        As for Apple’s security, I and a gang of other interested fellows keep an eye on what’s going on. I tend to write articles that translate down from geeks on high to regular Mac users. A lot of what you’re guessing is incorrect or misinformed. “iCloud breaches” in recent years, when it’s actually been called ‘iCloud’ have been due to stolen, hacked devices or stolen accounts thanks to idiotically simple passwords. I don’t know of any actual security breaches into iCloud itself.

        However, I suggest everyone err on the side of caution regarding their private information and files. Expect anything NOT encrypted on your Mac to become public via one hack or another. I keep all my private work inside an encrypted Sparse Bundle disk image that no one is getting into. I dare upload it to DropBox because I’m that confident in its encryption.

        The small Apple, tight ship analogy is excellent! I’m glad Apple hasn’t invited deliberate bloat (unlike Kodak while I was working there). We already know certain people, over time, at Apple have gone renegade. That’s the usual low grade human behavior. I could chatter all day about elected representatives.

        My best point is that there are MANY people outside of Apple who keep an eye on their security and make a point of OUTING Apple when they screw up. Apple know I will because I have in the past.

  2. This feature (loyalty programmes on ApplePay) is in a way the complete opposite of what ApplePay is all about — complete security and privacy of customer data.

    The primary argument for using ApplePay is the complete separation of customer’s private data tied to his credit card, from the retailer, by using a ‘fake’ card number that only bank would recognise as yours. The ability to use loyalty cards means the customer can give away personal information (name, address, phone number, detailed shopping history) to the retailer. That tends to eliminate the most powerful argument for using ApplePay, leaving just the convenience (not having to go through the motions of pulling out the wallet, the card, swiping, putting it back).

    Loyalty cards have their sizeable fan base among consumers. In their search for lower prices and deals, many people are happily giving away their privacy. Apple won’t interfere with that, but for those who guard their privacy, ApplePay is there.

    1. Choosing to allow a corporation to track your spending at its locations is not at all in conflict with the philosophy of Apple Pay. The primary reason you want to keep the credit card information from the retailer is to protect yourself in a breach like the ones experienced at Target and Home Depot. I’m sure some people also worry about how these establishments track you based on credit card usage, but I doubt even those who do are as worried about that as they are about criminals selling, buying, and using stolen credit card numbers.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.