Walmart launches Walmart Pay

Walmart (NYSE:WMT) has released its own mobile payments platform that lets shoppers leverage QR codes to check out and make digital payments.

Walmart Pay is a new feature integrated into the retailer's app. Shoppers can register any credit, debit, prepaid or gift card. Then at the checkout lane, they can use the camera on their smartphone to scan a QR code to pay. A receipt is then emailed to the shopper.

The app works with both iOS and Android smartphones, and is designed to accommodate other mobile payment programs in the future. 

"The simplicity and ease of Walmart Pay comes not only from how it works, but also in how it's been built," said Daniel Eckert, senior VP, services, Walmart U.S. "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."

Roughly 22 million shoppers use Walmart's app each month, according to the company. Since Thanksgiving, close to 70 percent of Walmart's Web traffic has come from mobile devices.

But Walmart currently doesn't accept other mobile payment options and Walmart Pay will compete not only with Apple Pay and Android Pay, but with CurrentC, the mobile payment platform developed by the Walmart-backed Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX).  

MCX began developing CurrentC in 2012 and the consortium of retailers involved includes several national chains such as Target and CVS. The program has been controversial as participating retailers were reportedly fined for accepting new payment platforms, including Apple Pay. CurrentC began testing this fall.

Walmart Pay is a departure for the retailer as it works with existing credit card companies—the very entities Walmart has battled to reduce so-called swipe fees that retailers pay each time a charge card is used. Walmart did not comment on whether it had negotiated more favorable processing terms.

The mobile payment feature will be introduced in select stores beginning this month, and launched nationwide in the first half of 2016.
For more:
-See this Walmart press release
-Read the article from The New York Times

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