Major retailer Walmart has announced its own mobile payment system, dubbed Walmart Pay. Directly competing with Apple Pay, the new system has gone live in select Walmart stores in the United States, allowing shoppers to pay with any major credit or debit card, and even preloaded Walmart gift cards. This payment processing system is quite a bit different from existing solutions, however, in that it relies on QR codes instead of the near field communication (NFC) chip embedded in many smartphones.
When checking out, customers select Walmart Pay from within the store’s mobile app, and then take a picture of a generated QR code on the point of sale terminal to connect. Within the app, an electronic receipt is stored, and Touch ID fingerprint recognition is supported for an extra layer of security. The brilliance of Walmart Pay is that it supports nearly all credit and debit cards, something competing services don’t offer. Walmart vice president of services Daniel Eckert explained more about the company’s vision for the payment method.
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. The result is an innovation that will make the ease of mobile payments a reality for millions of Americans.
Walmart is one of the biggest supporters of the upcoming CurrentC payments platform, which has forced many retailers to opt out of Apple Pay until only recently. Walmart said that it will continue to accept CurrentC payments alongside its own transaction system, but there are no current plans to adopt Apple Pay.
It’s interesting to see that Walmart has branded its own payment processing method. It seems that CurrentC is simply taking too long to get off the ground, with full launch of the service not scheduled until sometime in the first half of 2016. The stubborn refusal to accept Apple Pay, though, is surely frustrating for the many users of that payment method.