Today retail giant Walmart has thrown their hat into the arena with yet another option, the retailer introduced Walmart Pay – what the company is calling a fast, easy and secure way for customers to pay with their smartphones in Walmart stores.
With this launch, Walmart becomes the only retailer to offer its own payment solution that works with any iOS or Android device, at any checkout lane, and with any major credit, debit, pre-paid or Walmart gift card – all through the Walmart mobile app. The mobile payment feature will be introduced in select stores beginning this month, with a nationwide launch to be complete by the first half of next year.
Checkout using Walmart Pay happens in three steps:
- Open: Visit any register, open the Walmart app and choose Walmart Pay. Then you'll need to activate your phone's camera.
- Scan: At any time during checkout, simply scan the code displayed at the register. Walmart Pay is now connected.
- Done: Associate scans and bags the items… and it’s done. An eReceipt will be sent to the app and can be viewed at any time.
Walmart's plan to launch their own stand alone app comes on the backbone of the company still refusing to accept other major mobile payment solutions through NFC like Apple Pay, and Google Pay. Along with other major retailers the company has been a major supporter of MCX and CurrentC - whose system uses QR codes displayed on a cashier’s screen and scanned by the consumer’s phone or vice versa to initiate and verify the transaction. The system is also designed to automatically apply discounts, use loyalty programs, and charge purchases to a variety of payment methods without passing sensitive financial data to the merchant.
By going it alone, and essentially shunning other mobile payment solutions, Walmart is taking a major gamble! For starters they are asking would be users to download yet another app that they may or may not being willing to use. For many users that might be a deal breaker especially when Samsung users can use Samsung Pay just about anywhere!
Secondly there are outside indeterminable factors like the variability in smartphones, camera quality, lens cleanliness, 3G/4G signal strength, and WiFi availability which all factor into the apps usability. Last but not least they are betting against and essentially shunning the casual shopper that likely won't already have the Walmart app and Walmart pay loaded to their phone, but might have Apple, Google or Samsung Pay. Ideally retailers should be willing and open to broad acceptance of all payment platforms, not just the ones they build and approve!