Visa: Why Target’s Tap-And-Pay Leap Will Ignite Contactless Cards


Posted on January 23, 2019– After many years as a holdout in the world of near-field communication (NFC) payments, Target grabbed a lot of headlines yesterday (Jan. 22) with its announcement that it is embracing contactless payments. Target will enable this feature at checkout at all 1,800 of its U.S. stores over the next several weeks.

This marks a change for Target — a retailer that had, up to this point, enabled mobile pay only for its own mobile wallet app and the Target-branded REDcard linked to it. Next week, shoppers at those 1,800 stores will be able to use contactless cards, as well as contactless mobile payments, via any one of the mobile wallet “Pays” — AppleGoogle and Samsung.

“Offering guests more ways to conveniently and quickly pay is just another way we’re making it easier than ever to shop Target,” said Mike McNamara, Target’s chief information officer, in a statement.

The headlines have mainly focused on the “Pays,” which have struggled to gain any significant contactless traction at the physical point of sale (POS). However, when Karen Webster chatted with VP of Consumer Products Dan Sanford, he noted that what has been a bit underreported is the giant leap forward contactless cards will take, now that Target will accept tap-and-pay payments.

Target’s acceptance of contactless payments, Sanford told Karen Webster, is a “a great win for the industry,” one that he thinks will nudge other competition-minded retailers into activating contactless acceptance at checkout, too.