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Instacart unveils new shopper payment, customer delivery features

Instacart shoppers can now check out purchases without leaving the app, while customers worried about coronavirus have a new option.

The shoppers who fulfill Instacart customer orders at brick-and-mortar grocery stores are being provided “tap and pay” capability directly from the Instacart app. In partnership with card issuing platform Marqeta, Instacart is enabling shoppers in select regions to perform mobile checkout where accepted using Google Pay or Apple Pay. The company plans to make mobile checkout available to all shoppers in the coming months.

As a result, new shoppers can sign up and begin shopping in less than a day with Instacart mobile checkout. Instead of waiting for their physical Instacart payment card to arrive in the mail, shoppers can sign up for Instacart and start shopping via mobile checkout the moment their background check is cleared. The service operates using secure NFC technology through the Apple Pay and Google Pay platforms, with tokenization keeping payment information secure.

"We know that for many shoppers, convenience is key," said Kevin Henrikson, Vice president of shopper engineering at Instacart. "We've heard from shoppers that they would like an easier way to pay with their phone, instead of relying on a physical payment card that can get lost or buried in their wallet. Mobile checkout helps us address this feedback and improve the overall shopper experience. For new shoppers, it will also significantly shorten the timeframe before they can begin shopping — with a mobile payment option, new shoppers can go from signing up to their first shop in as little as a few hours."

Instacart is also reportedly now offering customers a “Leave at My Door Delivery” option. According to Business Insider, while the omnichannel delivery platform had been piloting the service for several months, a spike in demand since the coronavirus outbreak led to it performing a widescale rollout. The service lets customers receive deliveries on their doorstep at a designated time when they are not home.

"Up until now, the feature had been limited in availability to a subset of customers as part of a beta test intended to create a more convenient option for customers not home at the time of delivery," Instacart said in a statement. "Based on the increased demand for this new product feature, today we've made it available to all Instacart customers — bringing even more flexibility and optionality to their grocery delivery experience."

Walmart offers a paid service, called InHome Direct, that delivers fresh groceries and everyday items directly to refrigerators located inside customer kitchens or garages. Meanwhile, Amazon Prime members have access to main features of the Amazon Key “smart entry” program. The program’s primary feature, in-home deliveries, uses a smart lock to allow Amazon to make deliveries inside a customer’s front door or garage. 


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