Walmart jumps into mobile payment fray with Walmart Pay

Discussion
Dec 10, 2015
George Anderson

Walmart Pay is here. The retailer announced today that it has launched a means for shoppers to pay for purchases at its stores using their iOS or Android devices.

The new free payment option is being launched in select stores today with plans to go nationwide by the first half of next year. Walmart shoppers will open the retailer’s mobile app and choose Walmart Pay to activate their device’s camera. At any time during checkout, the shopper can scan a QR code displayed at the register and be connected. The cashier then completes bagging the customer’s purchases and an e-receipt is sent to the app.

"The Walmart app was built to make shopping faster and easier," said Neil Ashe, president and CEO of Walmart Global eCommerce, in a statement. "Walmart Pay is the latest example — and a powerful addition — of how we are transforming the shopping experience by seamlessly connecting online, mobile and stores for the 140 million customers who shop with us weekly."

[Image: Walmart Pay]

According to Walmart, 22 million customers actively use its mobile app every month.

"We made a strategic decision to design Walmart Pay to work with almost any smartphone and accept almost any payment type — even allowing for the integration of other mobile wallets in the future," said Daniel Eckert, senior vice president, services, Walmart U.S.

Speaking of mobile wallets, Walmart, according to Reuters, has not given up on the CurrentC project, which began beta testing last summer. The chain is part of MCX, a consortium of retailers that are behind CurrentC, which is typically mentioned in the press as a being a rival to Apple Pay.

According to an article on the Forbes site by Mark Rogowsky, the introduction of Walmart Pay is the equivalent of the retailer dropping a "bomb" on MCX. Walmart, according to the piece, has "essentially taken the technology behind MCX and rolled out a single-merchant version for its own stores."

What will the introduction of Walmart Pay mean for the retailer’s store operations and customer base? What will it mean for MCX and CurrentC?

Please practice The RetailWire Golden Rule when submitting your comments.
Braintrust
"Avoiding the additional fees is great, and this opens some nice marketing opportunities too. But I do think this is another nail in the MCX coffin."
"Both MCX and CurrentC will be severely threatened by this development. MCX’s requirements for exclusive deals and CurrentC’s limited test market results may signal the death knell for both."
"Please, please, please. I want ONE payment app that I can use in every situation I come across. C’mon retailer, if you want to make it easy for me, please make it easy for me, not for you."

Join the Discussion!

20 Comments on "Walmart jumps into mobile payment fray with Walmart Pay"


Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Tom Redd
Guest
4 years 9 months ago

Walmart Pay will help solidify the movement to a new way to settle with retailers. It will involve the shopper more than other payment methods, and with as many regular shoppers as Walmart has this move is one to watch. Some people do not like Walmart, but many millions do like Walmart. Let the ones who doubt Walmart watch from the sidelines as the Walmart masses start to change the way customer touch points in retail change.

David Dorf
Guest
4 years 9 months ago

Walmart is big enough to have its own mobile payment app, and it’s important they offer something that all their customers can use, not just those with iPhones. Avoiding the additional fees is great, and this opens some nice marketing opportunities too. But I do think this is another nail in the MCX coffin.

Max Goldberg
Guest
4 years 9 months ago

Using the chain’s own numbers, on average roughly 4 percent of their shoppers use their app every week. Walmart wants to boost that number and at the same time lower its transaction costs — thus they offer Walmart Pay. Rather than wait for MCX, they’re moving forward on their own. Presumably, if Walmart Pay catches on it could be offered to other retailers so, in essence, it replaces MCX.

Whether consumers adopt this technology is yet to be seen, but if it gets more people to download the Walmart app and lowers Walmart’s transaction costs, it’s a win for the company.

Liz Crawford
Guest
4 years 9 months ago

I can’t imagine that anyone is surprised by this … Walmart Pay is the next logical step to its app. It will be interesting to see competitors: Target Pay, Kroger Pay, etc. How will this shake out? Ultimately, I think that the market will settle on the consortium solution, MCX. But in the meantime, this is an interesting step forward.

What’s next after Walmart Pay? Walmart currency.

Richard J. George, Ph.D.
Guest
4 years 9 months ago

This could be a real differential advantage for Walmart. The seamless handling of payment, regardless of credit or debit card linked to the Walmart app, is a real threat to Apple and Android Pay. Plus, it may prove to be faster and more customer friendly than the new chip cards which slow down the checkout process even without requiring a pin like they do in Europe.

Both MCX and CurrentC will be severely threatened by this development. MCX’s requirements for exclusive deals and CurrentC’s limited test market results may signal the death knell for both.

Mark Heckman
Guest
4 years 9 months ago

Walmart does not have a history of playing nicely with others unless it is compelled to, usually due to lack of other options. Consequently, if Walmart Pay becomes increasingly accepted and used, the prospects of MCX at Walmart become tenuous at best.

From the consumer’s perspective, the notion that they will drop Visa, Mastercard or Discover for a private-label payment system is still in question. The major bank cards do a credible job of creating loyalty through rewarding points, dollars off and air miles. Private label payment initiatives are certainly aware of that and must build incentives into their business model to compete.

In addition, if Walmart and other larger retailers offer their own payment systems, those of us that enjoy consolidating our expenses to one source will have one or more new accounts to deal with. Consequently, I do not see private-label payment dominating the marketplace anytime soon.

Gene Detroyer
Guest
4 years 9 months ago

Please, please, please. I want ONE payment app that I can use in every situation I come across. Payment apps by retailers are like having those little tags that go on your key chain for loyalty programs.

C’mon retailer, if you want to make it easy for me, please make it easy for me, not for you.

Brian Kelly
Guest
4 years 9 months ago

Why should Walmart Pay be any different than the other mobile app-based payment app options? Meaning, this holiday selling season is proving that payment app use is well below expectations. This is another app payment option among a quickly growing list of them. It is become confusing.

Further, we know app usage is limited to three or five apps. Multiple payment apps for each store does not sound feasible.

So this unique app really doesn’t address MCX/CurrentC at this time. We need to understand what MCX’s offer will be and if it will simplify the shopper’s life, AKA the shopper’s phone. IF MCX can simplify her life, then it has a chance. Unique outlet payment apps are problematic based upon app use behavior.

Let’s hang on until February once the selling season dust settles, evaluate the after-action reports and then react.

Or as the CFO of the North Pole, Mrs. Claus says: “retail ain’t for sissies!”

Jason Goldberg
Guest
4 years 9 months ago

Walmart provides a nice validation of mobile payments for mainstream Americans. I wouldn’t expect Walmart to have the kind of success that Starbucks has with its army of daily customers and payments tied to rewards.

The solution doesn’t sound like it adds anything new in terms of IP and it’s probably not a game changer, but it certainly is another huge blow to MCX.

The thing that troubles me is Walmart’s lack of support for other wallets. In the long run, the customer needs to be able use whatever payment method she chooses, not options curated by retailers based on their own business interests.

Mike B
Guest
Mike B
4 years 9 months ago

Yawn. Another app? Good only at Walmart?

We need a single payment app good at all merchants. Walmart needs to just support contactless so Apple Pay works and just be done with it. They support contactless in other countries, why are they playing games in the U.S.?

We embraced the Starbucks app years ago because it was an early mobile payment format. Six years later, we don’t want a similar app for every retailer.

Tom Martin
Guest
Tom Martin
4 years 9 months ago

RIP MCX and CurrentC!

What’s good for Walmart is good for Walmart, as if anyone should be surprised by this move. As a consumer this is just another app that benefits the Walmart ecosystem but nothing more. Apple Pay continues to gain ground and IS consumer friendly. Retailer-specific pay systems are dead, ubiquity and ease of use is king.

Robert Heiblim
Guest
Robert Heiblim
4 years 9 months ago

This is more like a loyalty program than a threat to overall payment systems. While Walmart has an unmatched customer base, “some” of them will indeed like this if they are Walmart app users. Everyone else will not care. Just as Apple Pay is for Apple loyalists, and now so for Samsung Pay, these offers are more about drawing fans closer. Will this attract more fans? Not likely, but better services may make some more loyal. As well, more “open” systems will also serve for person-to-person transfers and use in more locations. Walmart may expand locations, but clearly this is to facilitate shopping at Walmart, and so this likely means the end of the CurrentC efforts.

Lee Kent
Guest
4 years 9 months ago

It is always good for retailers to offer their customers options. This is good. On the other hand, I am not sure that it is any easier than swiping a card. Oh, I forgot, with chip and sign, it probably will save a little time. Not that relevant though.

My question remains in how safe it is and will it save me and the retailers processing charges?

My 2 cents still leans toward Paypal and maybe Apple Pay.

Gordon Arnold
Guest
4 years 9 months ago
Easy is the key to e-commerce sales and consumer reliability. Retailers that can afford to keep up with Walmart will most likely give it a go. The need for cash in this market expansion method is an imperative second only to the design concept of making portability a must for any and all software development. As time goes by and smartphones become unnecessary appendages, the move into the latest and greatest gadget environment must be a cost efficient transition to avoid access delays and business continuity issues. Companies like Apple are often remembered for the technical abandonment of existing technologies for the cost of development savings when transitioning to the next generation of gadgets. This is exactly why the ownership of VLSI enterprise systems have traditionally steered clear of their endorsement and implementation with support. Small and medium businesses have the unenviable task of placing themselves at the mercy of IT manufactures like Apple, third party value added resellers (VARs), and the financial institutions. With the growth of the one world economy and market any… Read more »
Craig Sundstrom
Guest
4 years 9 months ago

This will satisfy the hundreds of thousands of Walmart customers who have been protesting in the streets demanding (yet) another payment system, because the choice of cash, checks, debit or credit cards just wasn’t convenient enough.

Maybe now attention can turn to the small number concerned with out-of-stocks, long lines, understaffing…stuff like that.

Ed Dunn
Guest
4 years 9 months ago

Stated years ago that high-volume processing merchants will eventually evolve to managing their own payment systems. At the end of the day, the entity who directly engages the customer at the POS has the final say in the mobile payment landscape.

One aspect that should not be overlooked is cash management. Walmart can now refund credits to their customer mobile payment account versus cash or a prepaid card. This will be a major same-store saver over time.

Mike B
Guest
Mike B
4 years 9 months ago

What is curious about this is Walmart is who started CurrentC and MCX. They were testing it at a store in Bentonville in July, both in-store and at the gas pumps; I saw the prompts for it.

I believe the card networks should force all merchants to accept contactless. With the slow and rather cumbersome EMV process, the quick tap method embraced by most other countries is a very easy user experience and efficient for the merchant for small ticket transactions.

Peter Charness
Guest
4 years 9 months ago

Google pay, Android pay, Apple pay, Samsung pay, American Express pay, MCX pay, CurrentC, Paypal, and the clear winner is…well Starbucks has done a reasonably good job with their payment card and mobile app.

I don’t see anybody winning this race for quite some time to come. I’m not even sure there’s a race track, more like a cow path for now.

Shep Hyken
Guest
4 years 9 months ago

This concept will do much more than just be a payment system. It gives Walmart crucial data about their customers. Walmart will be able to track their customers, their purchases, frequency of purchase and much more. This will allow Walmart to send their customers relevant content and very specific (to the customer) advertising messages.

With the different platforms like MCX and CurrentC, there will become a war for ownership in the space. Think about the Beta-max and VHS wars years ago. Or Apple and PC. Is there room for more than one — or two or three — in this space? We’ll find out!

Phil Rubin
Guest
4 years 9 months ago

Walmart Pay means a better customer experience for Walmart customers, just like using Starbucks app and payment does for its customers. Customers are more interested in trusting their payments to existing and established vehicles (i.e., old fashioned plastic) or directly with established brands like retailers including Walmart and Starbucks.

In terms of MCX and CurrentC, Walmart is at least hedging and perhaps impatient. While it’s not important to be first, vehicles like Apple Pay have been slow on the uptake. As we well know, retailers are not generally at the forefront of investment in new technologies.

wpDiscuz
Braintrust
"Avoiding the additional fees is great, and this opens some nice marketing opportunities too. But I do think this is another nail in the MCX coffin."
"Both MCX and CurrentC will be severely threatened by this development. MCX’s requirements for exclusive deals and CurrentC’s limited test market results may signal the death knell for both."
"Please, please, please. I want ONE payment app that I can use in every situation I come across. C’mon retailer, if you want to make it easy for me, please make it easy for me, not for you."

Take Our Instant Poll

How likely is the introduction of Walmart Pay to result in consumers choosing the retailer’s stores over competitors?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...