Roku's new Walmart ads make it too easy to buy stuff

(Image credit: Roku)

Roku has announced a new partnership with Walmart that will let you buy what its advertisements are recommending you using your TV and streaming stick. But the whole process might be too easy.

So-called “shoppable ads” will recommend various Walmart products based on your interests. By clicking on one of them with your remote, you’ll be taken to a checkout page on your TV – no longer needing to scan a QR code to complete the transaction on your smartphone or tablet.

If you've previously entered your payment details into Roku Pay – Roku’s own payment platform – then these will be auto-filled into the checkout page meaning you just need to press “OK” to complete the purchase.

This two clicks and its bought transaction is clearly super simple and reduces the time spent not watching the shows and films you love, but it could be a nightmare for parents. If your child sees recommended the toy they’re desperate to get their hands on, they’ll be able to order it with ease if you use Roku Pay.

So what can you do?

Option A would be to turn off Roku Pay, but then you’d have to inconveniently enter your payment details every time you wanted to buy something through your Roku device. Instead, you could go with option B: set a pin.

To set a pin for purchases you need to start by signing in to your account at and then going to Pin Preference on your account and hitting Update. From here you’ll need to go to Making purchases and adding content and then choose one option:

  • Always require a PIN to make purchases and to add items from the Channel Store.
  • Always require a PIN to make purchases.

Lastly, if you haven’t already, make sure to create a pin (or change it if your family already knows what it is).

Adding a pin will make the checkout process a little longer, but it could be what saves you from your little one going on a massive spending spree. When we reached out to Roku, a representative recommended this pin protection method.

It'll be interesting to see how this development affects rumors that Netflix is looking to acquire Roku. Will this Walmart deal help Roku stay independent or make it an even better target for Netflix to buy and help bring its ad-supported tier to market? We'll have to wait and see.

Hamish Hector
Senior Staff Writer, News

Hamish is a Senior Staff Writer for TechRadar and you’ll see his name appearing on articles across nearly every topic on the site from smart home deals to speaker reviews to graphics card news and everything in between. He uses his broad range of knowledge to help explain the latest gadgets and if they’re a must-buy or a fad fueled by hype. Though his specialty is writing about everything going on in the world of virtual reality and augmented reality.