Sure, 7-Eleven’s never been particularly well-known for being on the bleeding edge — expect, perhaps, in its quest to push the boundaries of human beverage consumption. Still, the Japanese-owned convenience mega-chain has been notably slow on the uptake of mobile payment technology.
The company announced today that it will finally be bringing Apple Pay and Google Pay to “most” of its U.S. stores, starting this month. Interestingly, Samsung beat its two major competitors to the Slurpee slinger — likely the two companies reached some sort of mutually beneficial exclusivity agreement to help push the Galaxy maker’s payment system.
CEO Tim Cook announced earlier this summer that arrival at 7-Elevens was imminent, along with the CVS pharmacy chain. The addition of the payment options should go a ways toward helping mainstream this manner of mobile payment among many users. The company has more than 66,000 locations in 17 countries. The U.S. currently makes up about 14 percent of that market.
But where mobile payments have been associated with higher-scale retail outlets, the addition of a chain like 7-Eleven represents a more populous outreach among the more than three-quarters of Americans who currently own smartphones.