Techcrunch reports today that CVS Health is launching a new mobile payments and loyalty solution in select cities that will streamline the customer experience at pharmacy checkout. It's a presciption for frictionless loyalty that should sit well with CVS's best customers.
The new app will allow customers to use their mobile devices to pay at checkout, pick up prescriptions, and earn ExtraCare rewards, all while eliminating a number of cumbersome steps in the current CVS checkout process. Instead of presenting a physical CVS loyalty card at checkout, providing your name and birth date to the pharmacist, and then swiping or inserting your credit card to pay, customers can now just scan the code on the app to provide all necessary information. The app even works at the drive-through pharmacy window by providing customers with a short numeric code they can read to the pharmacy associate to retrieve the required information.
The app is secured by fingerprint scan, and even allows customers to store additional payment cards, including FSA (Flexible Spending Accounts) or HSA (Health Spending Accounts), in order to split purchases. Money quote from Brian Tilzer, CVS Health's Chief Digital Officer:
"What we're trying to do is provide real utility and solve real problems for customers using digital. With one scan, we're taking away three or four extra steps that customers have lived with for a long time...It has to be more than just payments. The value is in combining a couple of these things...and the examples in the market where that has happened have worked really well."
According to Techcrunch, CVS Pay is notable for the speed with which the pharmacy retailer brought it to market - about four months from conception to execution. To our mind, it's also notable as the latest evidence that platform-based mobile payment solutions from Apple and Android are losing out in the battle for point-of-sale dominance; instead of providing a seamless end-to-end loyalty and payments solution for retailers, the two dominant platforms are taking a back seat to homegrown retailer solutions. Will consumers be willing to turn to a different mobile payment app every time they enter a different retailer's store? We'll certainly find out.
In the meantime, kudos to CVS for developing a truly customer-centric mobile payment solution that combines reward and recognition with a frictionless customer experience. That's a prescription for success.
Read the Techcrunch article here.