Resisting Apple Pay, Walmart pushes its own e-wallet to over 500 retail stores
Rather than accept Apple Pay, mega-retailer Walmart is instead pushing forward with its own mobile payment service, dubbed Walmart Pay, which has launched at its stores across Texas and Arkansas.
Though Apple Pay continues to expand, Walmart has still resisted Apple's NFC-based payment system, and is now offering its own digital payments through the Walmart app. Walmart was part of a retailer group in late 2014 that initially opposed Apple Pay and backed CurrentC, an alternative QR-code digital payment method similar to Walmart Pay.
The move is significant given that Walmart has 110 stores in its home state of Arkansas and another 480 stores across Texas, serving 20 million customers using the Walmart app tied to Walmart Pay every month to pay for purchases, the company is confident that shoppers will continue to use their product.
"We can't wait to hear what our customers and associates in Texas think of Walmart Pay," said Daniel Eckert, senior vice president of services for Walmart. "The service was built to make shopping easier and faster, something we know our customers want."
Unlike the convenient tap-to-pay functionality with Apple Pay, Walmart Pay requires additional steps such as opening the Walmart app first, choosing Walmart Pay and then scanning the QR code. A customer can also protect access to the app via a pin or Touch ID.
Walmart Pay works with both iOS and Android smartphones, prepaid cards and all major payment cards (Visa, MasterCard and Discover). The company encourages use in any checkout lane, from self-service to regular lanes. Walmart Pay stores receipts and shopping lists, keeps track of gift card balances and enables customers to refill prescriptions.
However, Walmart Pay's usage is limited to just Walmart stores. With extra steps and less encryption, offers a slower and less secure experience than Apple Pay.