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Customers of Australian grocery giant Woolworths will soon be able to acquire and redeem rewards points through Apple Wallet.

The retailer has made an agreement with Apple to store its loyalty cards within their digital wallet.

The decision is tipped to significantly increase the uptake of digital wallets within Australia.

With about 10 million members, Woolworths is said to boast the largest customer loyalty reward scheme in Australia. Though not every member will have an iPhone, nor be inclined to use Apple’s digital wallet.

Reports state Apple and Woolworth will announce the agreement this week, prior to a launch in mid-October.

Paul Monnington, Woolworths’ Head of Digital and Payments, states the decision is intended to better create a seamless shopping experience for customers:

“We’re looking at creating a better shopping experiences for customers. We believe it could lead to personalised seamless experiences”.

“They don’t have to carry their physical card around, it’s much easier when they tap their phone, they can look at their balances and know when they can get their $10 off – there are a number of different benefits for the customer”

Users of Woolworths’ loyalty card program can present their phone at checkout – without unlocking their phone – and use fingerprint authentication to acquire or redeem rewards points, plus utilise any discounts.

The new alliance may eventually culminate in Woolworths embracing Apple pay for its branded credit and debit cards. That move is tipped to considerably Australian uptake of Apple Pay.

Speaking of the possibility of Apple Pay in the future, Mr Monnington states:

“There’s potential for that but right now this is the start of our journey. We’ll end up with road map around digital wallets.”

Mr Monnington states that the agreement on the back of the retailer’s findings which saw growth in digital wallets across stores.

“We’re seeing growth in digital wallets across our stores and that will increase as there’s more functionality, not just payments”.

Thus far, Woolies is the first Australian retailer to link its rewards scheme with Apple Wallet.

Apple has inked similar agreements in the UK and US with retailers such as Walgreens and Kohl’s department stores.

The move is said to be a notable achievement for Apple, who’ve endeavoured to grow Apple Wallet and Apple Pay throughout Australia.

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