Do you use Apple Pay when you shop at Whole Foods? If you do, you’re not alone. According to CNBC, Whole Foods is now the no.1 retail leader in use of Apple Pay at its stores. Whole Foods co-CEO Walter Robb sat down with Jim Cramer and talked about WF’s great turnaround.

Apple Pay is one of the big changes Whole Foods implemented to turn its fortunes around. It’s paying off: last week, the company reported a revenue increase of 10.2 percent. Cutting food prices and renovating stores has also played a role, but Apple Pay gets most of the credit.

Robb said of his company’s early adopter stance on Apple Pay, 

“Ultimately I believe that retailers that integrate the physical and the digital are going to be the winners. I think the customers say ‘sometimes this, and sometimes that’ and you’ve got to be there to serve them.”

kale smoothie

Photo: Whole Foods/@RawAndRoasted on Instagram

Why Apple Pay?

MIT Technology Review offers some insight into the migration away from traditional credit cards and other payment methods. While Apple Pay wasn’t the first to introduce mobile payment technology, it was the first to bring a bunch of consumer desires together and make the entire process easy—just like it did with digital music.

In MIT’s analysis, Apple Pay represents a refinement of incredibly secure payment technologies that consumers want. Retailers who are accepting Apple Pay should expect to see upticks in sales because of it.

Plus, Apple Pay is just ease to use. You’re still using existing credit card accounts, but you no longer have to worry about carrying your wallet with you because it’s all encrypted in Apple Pay. Ed McLaughlin, Mastercard’s executive in charge of new payment technologies, spoke to MIT Tech Review about it.

“We know after people tap their phone to pay two or three times, they don’t go back to their old behavior.”


Photo: Apple

While competitors like Google Wallet haven’t posed much threat, Samsung is taking Apple Pay seriously enough that it bought rival mobile payments startup LoopPay yesterday. While Apple Pay requires retailers to upgrade their POS systems to include NFC readers, LoopPay does not. CNET reports that when Samsung launches the Galaxy S6 on March 1, it plans to showcase a new mobile payments system.

Whole Foods isn’t the only grocery chain currently accepting Apple Pay. Regional chains like Sprouts, Jewel-Osco, and Winn-Dixie are also on board. Additionally, MacWorld is keeping a full list of retailers that accept Apple Pay up-to-date here.

[via CNBC, MIT Technology Review]