You Can Now Pay at Wal-Mart Using Your Mobile

Illustration for article titled You Can Now Pay at Wal-Mart Using Your Mobile

Wal-Mart is joining the mobile payment movement. But instead of embracing existing Android and Apple systems, you’ll have to use the store’s own app if you want to purchase your stuff without taking your wallet out.

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Wal-Mart Pay—perhaps not the most original of names—works with any iOS or Android device, because you just need to be able to install Wal-Mart’s generic app. You’ll find an option to set up Wal-Mart Pay and from there you’ll simply have to scan QR codes to purchase items. It’s a pretty clunky implementation of mobile payment, but it does at least mean that you can use practically any phone and credit card combination at any check-out lane.

The service will be available in select U.S. stores from today, and then across all U.S. stores by mid-2016.

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[Wal-Mart]

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DISCUSSION

This method of payment has nothing to do with you and I the consumer, and everything to do with the retailer. This platform’s payments are based on your checking account number. If Walmart can side step your credit card and take your money directly from your bank account, they can sidestep the credit card processing fees. Even if Walmart gets excellent credit card processing rates, they still pay billions of dollars in fees to process your credit card payments every year. This is an attempt to recoup these costs, not to mention... just another way to market directly to your pocket whenever they feel like.

As a person who installs point of sale systems, credit card terminals, and sets up payment processing systems for retailers I can tell you without having touched this system that it will be a pain in the a$$. People can barely manage to swipe their card and say yes to confirm amount on a pin pad. I don’t know who thinks they can expect grandma to scan a qr code with her phone. This is a customer service nightmare.

It’s a hair brained scheme that helps the retailers make more money. With any luck it fades away pretty quickly.