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Walmart goes QR with mobile payments

Walmart dives into mobile payment with its unique Walmart Pay system based on QR code technology.

In our previous article, we’ve studied how retail stores can gain traction by implementing QR codes as a gateway to several mobile payment methods, such as credit cards or PayPal accounts. With the holiday season closing in, this is a must have tool to ensure that customers don’t have to waste precious time in long cues, as well as giving them the option of leaving their wallets at home, guaranteeing a secure transaction with QR codes.

In theory, this is all good, but does it work in practice? It does! Walmart, one of the largest retail store companies in the world, is launching a new mobile payment system called Walmart Pay, which uses the full power of QR codes to allow customers to experience a smooth shopping experience. The system will be available as of this month in Bentonville and will expand to its 4,600 stores nationwide next year.

Walmart Pay

Walmart’s idea

The idea behind this QR endeavor is to bridge e-commerce with in-store shopping. While this is not a new trend, it sure has established itself, outperforming other technologies such as near field communications (used by Apple Pay and Android Pay), which is not widely supported by merchants. Walmart, well aware of this, opted to develop their mobile payment system based on QR codes, challenging the aforementioned NFC technology that tech-giants such us Apple and Google use.

More so, Walmart Pay’s strength lies in its compatibility. Others work only with their respective operating systems, while Walmart’s works with all of them. Here’s what Daniel Eckert, senior vice president for services at Walmart U.S., said in regards to this subject:

[pullquote]“When you look at these things, the customer has constraints put upon them, and that creates frictions and seams in the shopping experience. But Walmart Pay works with any smartphone and almost any payment type.”[/pullquote]

How does it work?

To use Walmart Pay, customers have to download the app and choose a payment method. If they already have the app, they won’t have to re-enter their information. Once that’s done, at the cash register, customers simply have to take out their phones and scan the QR code, which is connected to their product baskets. Easy as pie! And not only that; Walmart is linking its payment app to other features such as price comparison charts to help customers choose wisely.

Walmart Pay is one of the many successful QR code practices that exemplify why the technology is relevant. Let’s reflect on this: phones have become smart. We acknowledge this. It is part of our daily lives. We can access the web and do many of our chores with them. And now, the link between our digital interface and the real world is possible, bringing forth infinite and inventive uses. The number one tool that bridges this gap is the QR code. While there are others (AR and NFC), QR’s stand the test of time, not only because they are cost effective and secure, but because people acknowledge them, just like our phones.

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