By Erin Harris, editor-in-chief
Walmart just threw its hat in the mobile payments ring in a big way. Walmart launched the rollout of Walmart Pay, a free smartphone-based payment solution that will work with all credit cards, debit cards, and Walmart gift cards at U.S. stores. A loyalty feature overall, Walmart Pay is the retail giant’s newest effort to streamline the shopping experience. Walmart states that Walmart Pay is the company’s latest bid to reduce the friction that can come from shopping in stores and better serve mobile customers, who are increasingly making up a larger portion of retailers’ customer bases. Walmart does not accept Apple Pay or Samsung Pay, but mobile wallet Walmart Pay will run on both iOS and Android devices and should be available nationwide by the middle of 2016.
The launch of Walmart Pay leaves the fate of CurrentC in question. Will CurrentC come to fruition now that Walmart has its own proprietary mobile payment solution? Time will tell, but it doesn’t look good. And given that Apple Pay has not been yet widely adopted by consumers, will single-merchant offering, Walmart Pay, be different? Will Walmart customers adopt and use the app on a regular, recurring basis in a way that other mobile payments do not yet see? It’s been written that the availability of more merchants that support NFC-based payment and the increase in U.S. consumers with iPhone 6 and 6s models will likely lead to continued adoption in 2016. According to comScore, more than 22 million people use Walmart's mobile app each month.
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