Shoppers at Walmart stores will soon be able to pay with their smartphones as the retailer has developed a unique solution to become the newest entrant in the crowded world of mobile wallets.
Branded as Walmart Pay, the service is a uniquely Walmart solution to the rapidly evolving world of mobile payments that is likely to increase downloads and utilization of the retailer’s mobile app. By adding payment functionality to its app, Walmart said it is 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.
“(Walmart Pay) is about how we can use payment to create a better shopping experience for our customers in our stores,” said Daniel Eckert, senior vice president of services for Walmart US. “When we looked across all the solutions that were out there, many are limited to only certain types of phones or certain device operating systems or only to certain payment types. In some instance all three of those constraints are placed upon a customer. We needed a solution that offered mobile payment access to as many of our customers as possible. The result was Walmart Pay.”
Roughly 140 million customers shop Walmart store each week and 22 million of them actively use the retailer’s app each month. With the addition of payment functionality the retailer is likely to see its app become even more relevant to shoppers for whom the mobile devices have become an indispensable part of daily life.
“The beauty of Walmart Pay is its simplicity. It makes the app even more valuable to our customers and helps us build a deep relationship with them. Soon, customers can leave home with only their keys and a smartphone to shop at their local Walmart,” Eckert said.
A nationwide rollout is due next year and according to Neil Ashe, president and CEO of Walmart Global eCommerce, the timing couldn’t be better given the trends Walmart is seeing this holiday season.
“Millions of our customers used their smartphones to simplify the shopping experience,” Ashe said regarding Thanksgiving weekend shopping behaviors. “Nearly half of customers bought their online orders on a mobile device. That is double last year, and significantly higher than the industry average. And when they were in our stores they used the Walmart app at twice the rate as last holiday.”
Walmart’s decision to add payment functionality to its app is the latest development in the rapidly evolving mobile payments landscape where brands such as Apple, Samsung, Visa offer solutions and a retail consortium MXC has introduced an app called CurrentC. Acknowledging the crowded landscape, Eckert said Walmart Pay is designed in a way to work with other solutions and perhaps accelerate what to date has been a tepid pace of consumer adoption.
“We’ve even designed (Walmart Pay) to allow for the integration of other mobile wallets in the future as these capabilities mature in the marketplace,” Eckert said. “We believe Walmart pay will make the ease of mobile payment as reality for millions of Americans while improving the checkout experience for our customers.”