You don’t need to carry cash or credit cards to make payments at GameStop — all you need is your Android or Apple smartphone.
The world’s largest gaming-specific retailer revealed today that it will support Google’s newly released Android Pay app, which enables consumers to tap their phone on a point-of-sale kiosk to enact a transaction. This is similar to the iPhone’s Apple Pay, and it’s also an evolution of the Google Wallet app that Android has had for years.
What this means is that anyone who has their credit or debit card tied to their Android Pay account can walk into a GameStop, pick up the latest Call of Duty, and pay for it with their phone. This also means that GameStop is continuing to position itself as a savvy retailer.
While many people point to the rise of digital games as the trend that will eventually put GameStop’s disc-based gaming business into the ground, the company has embraced digital and turned itself into one of the biggest sellers of downloadable content, season passes, and expansions. The company has previously said that it uses its generally well-informed in-store associates to help teach people about upcoming digital content, which people can then purchase a code for at GameStop.
Accepting Android Pay and Apple Pay seems like it is an attempt to keep the GameStop shopping experience feeling modern and flexible. These kinds of stores are also more likely to have employees who understand how to accept a phone-based payment method than something like Walgreens or Starbucks.
No data explicitly states how big this kinds of shopping is for game retailers, but one study does point out that only 13 percent of iPhone 6 owners have used Apple Pay. So this likely won’t have a huge effect on GameStop’s bottom line.
This could help jump start the adoption of Android Pay, but that’s not a guarantee. After all, GameStop previously accepted the Google Wallet precursor to Android Pay, and that never caught on. That’s likely because, as recent reports suggest, consumers haven’t really taken to this new card-less method of making purchases. But the option exists and GameStop obviously wants early adopters to know that it’s ready to accept their Android Pay transactions.
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