Two of the biggest names in US retail have launched their own payment apps, which will enable customers to pay for purchases using their Smart phones.
Mega-retailer Walmart has now completed the US-wide rollout of its Walmart Pay system. Customers can input their credit card or gift card information into the system and then pay for items in-store with their phone. Payment details are stored on Walmart’s servers rather than the phone itself so credit card details are not at risk if the phone is stolen.
Another US major retailer, CVS Pharmacy, has followed suit and launched its own mobile payment service, which allows customers to manage and pay for prescriptions via their phones. CVS Pay is due to be rolled out across the US before the end of the year.
Both Walmart Pay and CVS Pay are based on barcode technology, rather than Near Field Communication (NFC), which is favoured by Apple, Google and Samsung.
In the UK, supermarket giant Tesco has launched its own payment app called PayQwiq. Shoppers can store debit card details and loyalty points in the system and pay for shopping up to the value of £400.
PayQwiq was piloted in around 50 stores in Edinburgh and London and the scheme is now being extended to around 500 stores within the M25.
The question still to be answered is whether shoppers will want to download different payment apps for different stores. Other retailers will be keeping a close eye on how these first retailer payment apps are received and whether consumers prefer the convenience of digital wallets developed for Apple and Android phones, that can be used across different stores.