'Walmart Pay' Mobile Wallet Rolls Out to Nearly 600 Stores in Texas and Arkansas
All 480 Walmart retail locations in Texas will support the mobile wallet service beginning today, as well as the 110 stores in Arkansas. Although the company continues to reiterate its plans for a wide-release rollout in the United States soon, it's still yet to give customers a specific launch window for Walmart Pay beyond the two states announced today.
“We can’t wait to hear what our customers and associates in Texas [and Arkansas] think of Walmart Pay. The service was built to make shopping easier and faster, something we know our customers want,” said Daniel Eckert, senior vice president, Services, Walmart U.S. “Walmart Pay is a powerful addition to our app, a tool that we’re using to transform the shopping experience by seamlessly connecting our online assets and our stores for customers. The service opens the door to new and better ways we can serve the 140 million customers who shop our stores each week.”
Unlike Apple Pay's NFC and Touch ID system, there are a few added steps to successfully check out with Walmart Pay: users have to navigate to the Walmart app on their phone, tap through to the Walmart Pay section, and then scan a QR code displayed at the register. Users can set up the app to be protected by a PIN or Touch ID, and the company says that "mostly any card" can be directly linked as a payment method for the service.
Walmart was part of an original collection of retailers who opposed Apple Pay in favor of an alternative mobile payments service, CurrentC, along with companies like Best Buy and Target. Best Buy has since backed support for Apple Pay, while Target is working on its own QR code solution, similar to Walmart Pay.
Although the launch of Walmart Pay suggests that the company isn't interested in integrating with other digital wallets -- like Apple Pay -- down the line, last year Walmart senior vice president of services Daniel Eckert said the QR code service allows "for integration of other mobile wallets in the future." Eckert continued to describe Walmart Pay as "an innovation that will make the ease of mobile payments a reality for millions of Americans.”