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Save Mart and affiliates now offer Apple Pay
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Save Mart customer Matt Vonberkefeldt pays for his groceries by Apple Pay on Friday.

Now all you need to check out at the grocery store is your phone — that is if you’re shopping at your local Save Mart, FoodMaxx or Lucky markets as each Northern California business now offers Apple Pay.

“We are working diligently to transform the shopping experience for our customers and this cutting-edge technology will help to speed them through checkout,” said Nicole Piccinini Pesco, Save Mart's co-president and chief strategy and branding officer. “Accepting Apple Pay provides shoppers a secure and private way to pay for their groceries and we’ve added support for this new mobile payment method solely for their benefit and convenience.”

Apple Pay allows iPhone 6 and 6 Plus users — and Apple Watch at some locations — to simply hold their phone to the touch screen function typically used for debit and credit card transactions and pay through a mobile app. Other smartphone digital payments are also available, such as for those with Android devices, with Google Wallet and Softcard applications.

“So far it’s been very successful,” said Greg Wagenman, Save Mart on Geer Road manager where the smartphone payments have been up and running for several weeks. “We are one step ahead of the ballgame.”

“It’s convenient too because if you run into the store for something quick without your purse you can just pull your phone out of your pocket to pay,” added Save Mart employee Dezirae Kelting.

Users can add their credit or debit information to the Apple Pay mobile application, but the actual card numbers are not stored on the device or Apple servers. Instead, the information is uniquely encrypted into a device account number and stored in the secure element of each device. The security code from the back of the card is not used either as each transaction is authorized with a one-time unique dynamic security code.

The mobile payments are live at all 217 of the Northern California and Nevada Save Mart, FoodMaxx and Lucky stores.