Target (NYSE:TGT) has joined a growing list of retailers looking to develop a mobile wallet that would let shoppers pay for in-store purchases with an app.
People familiar with the program told Reuters that Target plans to partner with credit card companies to use scanners available on smartphones to communicate with payment terminals. The wallet could launch as early as next year, although it has yet to be tested in stores.
Target spokesman Eddie Baeb told Reuters that the retailer is testing CurrentC in a handful of stores but is also exploring additional mobile payment solutions. He did not confirm tests of a proprietary wallet and said only that "Target is a participant of the MCX and we are testing its CurrentC mobile wallet with guests as part of a pilot in Columbus, Ohio."
MCX began developing CurrentC in 2012 and the consortium of retailers involved includes several national chains, including Target. The program has been controversial as participating retailers were reportedly fined for accepting other payment platforms, including Apple Pay. CurrentC began testing this fall but its future is uncertain.
Walmart announced its own mobile wallet earlier this month in a move that could mean the end of CurrentC entirely.
Mobile wallet use is small, but growing. Retailers are keenly interested in adopting mobile payments as a means to appeal to millennials, reduce swipe-fee payments to processors and collect valuable purchase data from shoppers.
Mobile wallets have the added benefit of providing more secure transactions than charge cards with each transaction creating a unique number that cannot be reused if stolen.
-See this Reuters article
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