With mobile payment service CurrentC in shambles, partners like Walmart are turning to their own payment solutions. The nation’s largest retailer on Monday launched its mobile payment service Walmart Pay in 500 stores across Arkansas and Texas, with still no sign it plans to accept tap-to-pay services like Apple Pay any time soon.
The service first launched in December in a select number of stores, and operates much like CurrentC was supposed to. Customers with the Walmart app will use a QR code to pay for their purchases, with no tap-to-pay functionality — at least for now.
“We can’t wait to hear what our customers and associates in Texas think of Walmart Pay,” Walmart services chief Daniel Eckert said in a statement. “The service was built to make shopping easier and faster, something we know our customers want.”
The QR code appears on Walmart’s payment terminals, which the customer would then need to scan with the Walmart app. The service is somewhat interesting in the fact that it links to a credit card to pay, which seemingly only adds an extra step to the checkout process that could be done faster with a swipe or tap.
It’s also worth noting that Walmart’s impetus to support CurrentC was born out of a desire to avoid credit card processing fees, something its own executives alluded to in the past. That makes Walmart’s move all the more strange.
There was no immediate announcement on when Walmart Pay will make it to other stores. Digital Trends was able to speak with one store manager on condition of anonymity who said the company has already sent out information on the service to store management elsewhere explaining how it works, and to drum up interest.
Walmart’s app also lets anyone with a Walmart.com account set up an account to pay with Walmart Pay, although it does state that the option is available “in select stores” only.