Walmart is finally stepping into the world of FinTech with the launch of Walmart Pay, an application that lets customers check out by scanning a QR code at the register.
Launching 5 months after its 2015 announcement, Walmart’s new payment app aims to improve customer experience in the checkout line. With an initial rollout to 600 stores across Texas and Arkansas, Walmart Pay operates on an iOS and Android app. When customers approach the register, a QR code will be displayed on the POS terminal screen. With the app, customers scan the QR code, activating the service. After the code is read, items can be scanned at the terminal. Once the checkout is complete, the debit or credit card associated with the Walmart Pay account will be charged, and a receipt will be issued in the app.
Walmart has chosen to develop this internal app rather than opting to allow external solutions like Apple Pay or Samsung Pay. According to Engadget, though, the retail giant does not want to compete with Apple and Samsung, it just wants to make their customers’ shopping experience more satisfactory.
This small step forward into the world of FinTech payment solutions is not without criticism. CNet Senior Editor Bridget Cary pointed out potential inadequacies present in Walmart Pay, such as opting to use the older QR code technology rather than the newer, faster Near Field Communication (NFC). Cary also noted the lack of fingerprint security — present in both Apple Pay and Samsung Pay — making the app vulnerable to unwanted transactions.
Commenters were even less thrilled about Walmart Pay. One person said, “Stupid. That takes longer than using a [credit card] would. Wtf is wrong with people.” Another commenter predicted that Walmart Pay would “fail within a year and they’ll be forced to use NFC.”
Walmart on the Road to Bitcoin?
Several people also expressed a desire for a standardized payment technology to alleviate the inconvenience of downloading multiple payment applications. Ironically, the answer to their prayers was mentioned in the CNet video’s comment thread, with one person saying:
“You [Cary] act like QR codes are out of style? GTFO. — BITCOIN LIFE.”
Indeed, making heavy use of QR code technology, Bitcoin could very well be the standardized payment system 21st century shoppers are looking for in a market of various mobile payment technologies. Bitcoin is the fastest and most secure mobile payment option. Additionally, despite multiple payment processors and wallet options, all Bitcoin-based payment methods are cross-compatible, letting shoppers use their favorite Bitcoin app anywhere, without having to download store-specific software.
When it comes to standardized and secure mobile payments, the blockchain is king.
What do you think about Walmart Pay? Let us know in the comments below!
Sources: CNet, Engadget
Images courtesy of Mashable, Walmart.