Reports: Target will soon let some customers pay through an app

Target could roll this out as soon as this year.
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Fill your Target cart, pull up your phone, pay right there and leave.

That could be a reality for some Target customers in the next 11 months, according to ReCode. The site says Target is planning to roll out its own smartphone payment service this year – they were told about the plans by Chief Information and Digital Officer Michael McNamara at the National Retail Federation last week.

McNamara said it'll come to one or both of Target's apps (the main app, or Cartwheel), and it will initially only be available to people who have REDcards, ReCode reports.

Other organizations like TechCrunch have followed up with the retailer, which confirmed McNamara's comments – though as Reuters points out, are also not offering any further details.

So what exactly it might look like, or when it's available, are still unknown.

Paying with a smartphone

Smartphone payments services – whether it's Apple Pay, Google Wallet, or Samsung Pay or something else – are becoming more popular. (Which isn't shocking, considering we do everything on our phones now. Heck, Amazon is building a store around it.)

The LA Times last year though said the places you can use those services is limited, and American consumers are cautious. Pew Charitable Trusts found the most-common concern was data security and identity theft.

But according to the Times, analysts expected mobile phone payments in 2016 to be used by about 37.5 million customers (that's just over 15 percent of Americans who own a mobile phone).

And other retailers have already jumped on the bandwagon.

Walmart has Walmart Pay – you can pay for your items in-store from your phone, through the checkout as normal. You just do it through the app instead of swiping a card. It also saves e-receipts for you, but doesn't currently offer cash back or a loyalty program.

And Kohl's Pay lets you pay via your phone on your Kohl's Charge Card, even offering rewards points and automatically redeeming deals you've saved.

A third-party payment service called CurrentC, which was backed by Target, Walmart and other large retailers, shut down last year.

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