These are the shopping apps you might actually use

23 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Look out, Apple Pay and Android Pay — here comes Target Pay.

It seems everywhere you turn these days, another company is offering a new way to pay with a smartphone: there’s Apple Pay, Android Pay, Samsung Pay, as well as Walmart’s newly announced mobile payment system, and now Target might be hopping on the bandwagon with its own mobile wallet.

The lucrative mobile payment industry has attracted a host of big names in recent years and given its gradual global acceptance, payment processing companies are vying for market share. 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. Though the mobile wallet could launch as early as next year, the retailer isn’t committing to anything just yet, leaving things rather up in the air at this point.

It would make sense for Target to develop and deploy its own wallet service, which would enable customers to pay for their purchases using the mobile app. What’s interesting about this report is that, like Walmart, Target is also a member of a retailer-backed consortium MCX which is developing a mobile wallet to compete with the likes of Apple Pay, called CurrentC. Mobile retail apps have seen an increase in monthly visitors since their popularity has been tracked, according to digital analytics company comScore.

So far, Target has apparently looked into partnering with credit card companies, and is said to be in favor of processing transactions using scanning technology to communicate with payment terminals, two of the sources said. 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.

The most-used apps for major retailers during November 2015 were Amazon Mobile AMZN, -0.60% , Walmart WMT, +0.17% , eBay EBAY, -1.75% , Target’s TGT, -1.27% Cartwheel app and Starbucks SBUX, -1.56% . While there is no evidence that substantiates the claims made by these anonymous sources, but it is significant to the extent that if true, Target’s entrance in the mobile payment processing market is sure to unnerve its competitors. 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. 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. While some might argue that the launch of Wal-Mart Pay last week signals the end of CurrentC, but the management was quick to dismiss that notion saying it is still an active part of the alliance. Apple Pay and Android Pay require near field communications (NFC), while Samsung Pay can be used on virtually any credit card terminal without NFC because it emulates an actual physical card swipe using LoopPay technology. As a result, the shopper builds the habit of using the app, becoming familiar with its features and in some cases working toward rewards, like complimentary drinks and snacks for users of the Starbucks, Panera PNRA, +0.49% and McDonald’s MCD, -0.96% apps. “It makes a lot more sense to make a single-branded app in those scenarios, more so than apparel specialists you might go to once a quarter,” Evans said.

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.” S&P Dow Jones Indices and MSCI Inc. announced in November that real estate will no longer be classified under the financial sector, and will now be treated as a distinct sector under the code 60. According to JPMorgan, the REITs are expected to generate around 15% total return; 6% will be generated from earnings growth, 4% from dividend income, while 5% from valuation expansion. The unfortunate part of all this is that Target and Walmart don’t accept Apple Pay or Android Pay, so consumers will be forced to open a separate app when shopping in those stores.

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. Business Finance News believes that in the coming two years, the stock will move toward its correct valuation and will then be comparable to the market indices.

It also believes that cash flows from health care properties would not be impressive, as they have long-term leases, which will make cash flows less sensitive to changing conditions. In January 2015, REITs were able to outperform the market; the reason for the performance can be linked to the 10-year treasury yield, which contrary to expectations, plunged from 2.17% to 1.64%. In the last six months, the SPDR Dow Jones REIT ETF swelled by around 4% as compared to Dow Jones index, which has decreased by 2.43% in the same period.

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