In an ongoing war between Apple and Wal-Mart over mobile payment platform, Walmart just bombarded another missile – not long since Apple launched its Apple Pay in year 2014.
Well-reputed retailer has announced to initiate a roll-out Wal-Mart Pay that could easily be accessed through smartphones via Walmart gift cards (USA stores), debit and credit cards, all. The service could easily run on iOS and Android and by middle of 2016 should be available all around the national domain.
Point to astonishment here is what Wal-Mart earlier could not mention in its press release – it is likely to drop off its midnight bomb just two weeks prior Christmas. Is so Wal-Mart really targeting Apple Pay or is just essentially blowing up MCX? Exclusivity agreements signed by MCX partners led to strange results when Apple Pay launched last year. Drugstores CVS and RiteAid explicitly disabled their NFC, contactless payment devices to thwart the use of iPhone payment. (RiteAid has since restored Apple Pay functionality.) Target, another MCX partner, allowed Apple Pay in its app, but not in stores.
No wonder, Wal-Mart has taken a lead here from MCX on tech platform and has rolled out a single-merchant version of its own stores. We might wonder how does Wal-Mart Pay work; it works different to that of Apple Pay and Android Pay. You open an app on your phone and scan a barcode on the register screen at checkout. That sends a signal to the register you will pay via the app and allows the backend system to send you an itemized receipt of your purchases to the smartphone. The receipt functionality isn’t yet available from Apple and is a nice addition.
MCX and CurrentC obviously won’t find themselves contented with Wal-Mart’s launch. Reason might be of MCX’s exclusive limited deals in short time span while some early signees like Best Buy and Kohl’s have already begun offering Apple Pay and/or Android Pay.
“With the release of Walmart Pay, it is clear that MCX and CurrentC will likely either not be released or be lost in the noise of other proprietary systems.” – Payments expert, Brian Roemmele