Like Walmart, Target thinks we need more mobile payment apps; they’re both wrong

23 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Move Over Walmart: Target to Develop Mobile Payment System.

The physical brick-and-mortar retailer for individuals who believe they are “too good” to set foot in a Walmart store (WMT – Analyst Report), Target (TGT – Analyst Report) is developing its own version of a mobile wallet. The move would put the fourth-largest U.S. retailer in direct competition with other payment platforms, including Apple Pay, Android Pay, and Samsung Pay, for example.

It also follows a similar move from Walmart involving the introduction of its own mobile payments service, Walmart Pay, as a feature within its own smartphone application in the first half of 2016. From a record nearly $3 billion spent on Cyber Monday to kids making their Christmas lists on apps instead of crayon-and-paper for Santa , the 2015 holiday season has been increasingly mobile. Mobile retail apps have seen an increase in monthly visitors since their popularity has been tracked, according to digital analytics company comScore. That app has not yet launched, but has been criticized for being a clunky solution in comparison with the NFC-based tap-and-pay efforts from Apple, Google and others.

Engadget notes that Target is part of the “CurrentC” mobile wallet initiative, and plans to remain a member – alongside Walmart – of the Merchants Customer Exchange that’s developing the software. In addition, during its beta, it hasn’t allowed users to pay with credit cards – instead only permitting payments with gift cards, store cards, or through a direct connection with a user’s bank account.

The most-used apps for major retailers during November 2015 were Amazon Mobile AMZN, -0.35% , Walmart WMT, +0.44% , eBay EBAY, -1.59% , Target’s TGT, -1.13% Cartwheel app and Starbucks SBUX, -1.33% . While details are currently scarce, Target’s proposed payment system appears to be more like the regular setup where you hover your phone over a terminal to make a payment. That’s certainly believable given that Target has already rolled out a suite of beautifully designed mobile applications that are also innovative from a technical perspective.

And as shoppers have shown an affinity for the online and mobile shopping experience, retailers have scrambled to gain competitive edge, adding new features to their websites and apps, such as loyalty programs and advantages like the ability to place a complicated coffee order in advance. If retailers and companies continue to develop these mobile payment systems, it begs the question of whether individuals will eventually need a separate payment app for each retailer the individual shops at.

For example, Target’s mobile couponing app Cartwheel is a top 10 app on the App Store today, and sees heavy usage from consumers who tap to add items to their savings list then scan a barcode at checkout. The company’s flagship app also introduced its own in-store item locator, and uses beacon technology to ping consumers about in-store deals, trends and recommendations. Outside of mobile, Target has been open to trialing new means of reaching its customers, whether that’s through on-demand grocery deliveries or curbside pickups – further indicators that the company is not slow to embrace new technology and services. That makes it sound like the payments process could actually be integrated within Cartwheel, though the wallet has not actually moved to the point of testing, the articled notes.

Plus, consumers are unlikely to commit to many apps, meaning they won’t download apps for stores they rarely visit, said Mark Ranta, the head of digital solutions at ACI Worldwide, an electronic banking and payment company. The holiday season is a particularly good time to offer rewards and incentives, like Amazon promoting special deals exclusively available for app users, in hopes of getting customers to download the app and continue to use it throughout the year, said Ross Rubin, the senior director of industry analysis for App Annie, an analytics and market research company. A spokesperson said that the retailer will “continue to explore additional mobile wallet solutions, and will ultimately work to provide the best and most sought-after mobile wallet experiences for our guests.”

Some retailers, including Wal-Mart and Target, are attempting to avoid those fees by creating their own mobile-payment system called CurrentC that would only allow customers to pay through their checking account and select merchant debit, merchant credit and gift cards, bypassing non-branded credit cards entirely. Because merchants are charged for the total amount spent and also for each transaction when customers use credit cards, they can shave off costs when customers pre-load a larger amount of money onto a gift card, then use that for future purchases.

Here you can write a commentary on the recording "Like Walmart, Target thinks we need more mobile payment apps; they’re both wrong".

* Required fields
Twitter-news
Our partners
Follow us
Contact us
Our contacts

About this site