Target denies reports of imminent Apple Pay addition to retail stores

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After a social media post by Target started reports circulating that Apple Pay would be accepted in-store, the company has denied that any effort is in place.

The company is "working on getting this Technology into our stores," a Target customer service representative said on Sunday as a response to a customer "We'll catch up with the 21st century soon!"

However, in a statement made to AppleInsider on Monday, Target denied that there was anything to discuss regarding Apple Pay at this time.

"We have no plans or work underway currently to make Apple Pay available in our stores," said Target in the statement about the posting. "We continue to offer Apple Pay for online purchases in the Target app. And while we are exploring mobile wallet opportunities for our stores, we have no updates on our plans to share at this time.

While people can use Apple Pay for online Target orders, it remains uncertain why the company hasn't made the jump at retail. Many locations have point-of-sale terminals compatible with NFC technology, and the functionality remains shut down.

The company previously indicated it would be "open-minded" about platforms like Apple Pay after upgrading its terminals with chip card support, which it finally accomplished in Oct. 2015. Target announced plans in January to launch its own mobile payment option later in 2017, which might be the primary reason for delaying Apple Pay.

Further adopting Apple's technology might give Target a small advantage over its biggest rival in U.S. retail, Walmart. The latter has deliberately avoided third-party mobile platforms in favor of Walmart Pay, which is based on QR codes.