When I was a child I thought Disney was the happiest place on earth, but now that I'm an adult I'm pretty sure it's Costco. Disney has Space Mountain, but Costco has avocados that stay ripe twice as long, and really good Prosecco for just $6.99 a bottle. There's no contest.
The only problem is that for a place that really wants to sell us everything from hot dogs to diamonds, Costco's arcane policy of only accepting certain credit cards has not always made it easy to actually pay for them. But now checking out has gotten a lot easier, because Costco has started accepting mobile payments at all of its U.S. stores.
According to Business Insider, Costco members can now use Apple Pay, Google Wallet, and Samsung Pay to pay for their purchases. Costco still does not plan to start accepting non-Visa credit cards. So people looking to pay with their phones will still need to have Visa credit or debit cards hooked up to them. But paying with one's phone is often a lot easier and faster than hunting around for a physical card and waiting for it to be scanned. Just wave your phone at the sensor and go.
"We've added additional mobile payment options to make your next visit more convenient," Costco said in a statement to MacRumors. You obviously still need to show your membership card to get in and out of the store, but this should make checkout faster for people who are used to mobile payments.
Yes, Mobile Payments Really Are Faster
I used to not see the point of paying with a phone, when I already had a credit card in my pocket. But once you start doing it, it just becomes second nature. Personally, I pay with my phone now almost more often than I use a credit card, just because my phone is usually in my hand or pocket, and scanning the screen is often a lot faster than scanning a card and waiting to sign something.
Mobile payments are becoming a lot more popular, too. According to USA Today, about 22 million people currently use Apple Pay in the U.S., and that's expected to grow to 24 million in the next year. CVS and 7-Eleven both started accepting it recently, and Costco is actually one of the last major retailers to adopt Apple Pay in the U.S.
The mobile payment systems are also coming soon to Costco's gas stations. Some locations already have them, but others are still in the process of having them installed. They're expected to be completed at all the Costco gas stations in the near future.
So, if you already weren't super attached to your phone (and Costco), here's another reason to be.