CVS Pharmacy is now offering touch-free purchase options using third-party payment services PayPal and Venmo QR codes.
Customers will now be able to use their PayPal and Venmo wallets at 8,200 different CVS Pharmacy locations.
To use the new service, customers click the "Scan" button in their PayPal or Venmo mobile apps and then choose the "show to pay" option for the cashier to scan and for the purchase to be completed.
PayPal users are able to use their stored debit or credit cards, bank accounts, account balance or PayPal Credit. Venmo customers can pay using their stored debit or credit cards, bank account, Venmo balance or Venmo Credit Card.
Those enrolled in ExtraCare Rewards Program will still be able to redeem and apply savings using their ExtraCare account when checking out with PayPal or Venmo QR codes, CVS said in the announcement.
WHY THIS MATTERS
This partnership allows customers to purchase pharmacy items without needing to touch the keypad or sign a receipt – an increasingly important option for consumers during the pandemic.
Contactless payment is now being used by nearly 80% of consumers worldwide, according to a survey by Mastercard. Most consumers say they've turned to this option for cleanliness and safety reasons.
CVS has also seen contactless payment increase by 43% since the beginning of the year.
"Putting our customer's safety at the forefront of our innovations, we've focused resources on finding new ways to make customers' lives easier and more convenient," said Jon Roberts, executive vice president and COO at CVS Health. "Introducing more digital options, including touch-free payments at the register, is in step with changing consumer preferences."
Additionally, 40% of consumers who prefer to pay with digital wallets would not purchase from merchants that do not allow customers to pay with them, while 34% of those who prefer paying with QR codes would not pay using any other method, according to a survey from PayPal and PYMNTS.
THE LARGER TREND
Health systems are moving towards digital payments, especially as in the new telehealth environment cash makes no sense.
Digital payment systems for hospitals are offered by such companies as InstaMed, which has rolled out its Digital Wallet. Also, Revenue Integrity Management Services of Chicago partnered with InstaMed to offer a quick-pay online option, which increased online payment volume by 200% during COVID-19 shutdowns, the company said.
The pandemic has pushed CVS to transform its offerings to include more digital health services, according to CVS Health CEO Larry Merlo.
For instance, in July CVS Pharmacy rolled out Spoken Rx, a new feature to its app that can read a specific prescription label out loud for patients with visual impairments or who cannot read standard print labels.
It also rolled out a series of digital health apps to its Point Solution Management service, including Big Health's Daylight, Vida Weight Loss +, Weight Watchers, Kurbo and Naturally Slim. These offerings joined others in CVS Health's lineup, which include Hello Heart, Hinge Health, Livongo Health, Torchlight and Whil.
CVS's competitor Walgreens has also begun work to become more digitally integrated. Earlier this year, the retailer expanded its partnership with Microsoft and Adobe to launch a digital shopping platform. More recently, its digital pharmacy AllianceRx Walgreens Prime began offering online oncology prescriptions refills.
ON THE RECORD
"The launch of PayPal and Venmo QR codes in CVS Pharmacy stores will not only provide health-conscious customers with a touch-free way to pay at checkout, but also brings the safety and security of PayPal and Venmo transactions into the store with shoppers," said Jeremy Jonker, the SVP and head of consumer in-store and digital commerce at PayPal.
"We are thrilled that PayPal and Venmo QR codes will help to maintain the safety of CVS customers and employees, especially in the essential pharmacy retail environment as we go into the winter months."
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