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Walmart launches own mobile payment platform

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BENTONVILLE, Ark. – Despite the emergence of multiple mobile payment platforms, Walmart has gone ahead and launched its own: Walmart Pay.

The discount store giant said Thursday that the debut of Walmart Pay makes it 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, prepaid or Walmart gift card.

“The Walmart app was built to make shopping faster and easier,” Neil Ashe, president and chief executive officer of Walmart Global eCommerce, said 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.”

Walmart Pay works through the Walmart mobile app. To use the secure mobile payment tool, customers open the Walmart app, select Walmart Pay and activate the camera. Then at any time during checkout, they scan the code displayed at the register, which connects Walmart Pay. The cashier then scans and bags the items, and an eReceipt is sent to the app.

Walmart Pay closeup“The simplicity and ease of Walmart Pay comes not only from how it works, but also in how it’s been built,” according to Daniel Eckert, senior vice president of services for Walmart U.S. “We made a strategic decision to design Walmart Pay to work with almost any smartphone and accept almost any payment type.”

Walmart reported that 22 million customers actively use its app monthly, and the Walmart app ranks among the top three retail apps in the Google and Apple app stores. Other key features of the app include the ability to check in to pick up an online order at a Walmart store, refill pharmacy prescriptions and find an item’s store location.

“The timing couldn’t be better to share this news, given what we saw over the holiday weekend,” Ashe said in a video press conference on Walmart Pay. “Millions of our customers use their smartphones to simplify the shopping experience. Nearly half of our customers bought their online orders on a mobile device. That’s 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 Pay also offers some payment flexibility. “With Walmart Pay, customers can use multiple payment types and set up specific PIN preferences,” Eckert said in the video press conference. For example, customers can use balances of Walmart gift cards added to the app first and then pay for the remainder a transaction via credit or debit cards linked to Walmart Pay, he explained. Shoppers also can pay for part of a transaction with cash and the rest using Walmart Pay.

Plans call for Walmart Pay to be introduced in select stores starting this month, with a nationwide launch to be completed by the first half of next year. “Soon, customers can leave home with only their keys and a smartphone to shop at their local Walmart,” Ashe commented.

Of two other high-profile mobile pay platforms now available — Apple Pay from Apple Inc. and CurrentC from Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX) — Walmart offers only CurrentC in select stores. According to Eckert, Walmart Pay is intended to eliminate some of the barriers presented by other mobile wallet platforms.

“Walmart Pay is not about improving payment for just payment’s sake. It’s about how we can use payment to create a better shopping experience for our customers in our stores. When we looked across all the solutions that were out there, many of them are limited to only certain types of phones, certain device operating systems or only to certain payment types. And in some instances, 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,” he said.

“Walmart Pay has been built in a way that will allow it to change and grow in capability over time,” Eckert added. “We’ve even designed it to allow for the integration of other mobile wallets in the future as these capabilities mature in the marketplace. We believe Walmart Pay will make the ease of mobile payments a reality for millions of Americans while improving the checkout experience for our customers.”


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