Customers have long been requesting that Walmart implement Apple Pay at its checkouts, but the retailer has not relented, instead relying on its own method for customers to pay with their phone.
Numerous complaints across Twitter lament the lack of integration, illustrating the extent to which customers are hankering for the service. Given the popularity of Apple Pay, it is hardly surprising that people are requesting its functionality at the biggest retailer in the world, boasting nearly 5,000 branches in the US alone.
Now, rather than rely on Apple Pay, the retailer has developed its own digital mobile payment system known as Walmart Pay, integrated with the Walmart app.
Walmart Pay app
Unlike Apple Pay and a number of other mobile payment methods, it doesn't use near-field communication (NFC), the protocol that allows devices in close proximity to instantly connect and transfer data wirelessly, instead, requiring users to scan a QR code at the checkout.
A Walmart spokesperson argued that this is a convenient way to pay, adding that Walmart has implemented other systems such as Scan & Go, available to Sam’s Club and Walmart Plus members, that allows them to “bypass the checkout altogether”.
Interestingly, however, Canadian branches of Walmart have been equipped with Apple Pay checkouts since 2020.
Some have speculated that there may be ulterior motives behind the hyperstore’s proprietary method, such as increasing the number Walmart app users and tracking their customers' purchases.
Despite Apple Pay being available in more than 90% of stores in the US, Walmart isn’t the only major player to refuse its uptake: The Home Depot, Lowe's, and Kroger all lack Apple Pay integration as well.
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Lewis Maddison is a Staff Writer at TechRadar Pro. His area of expertise is online security and protection, which includes tools and software such as password managers.
His coverage also focuses on the usage habits of technology in both personal and professional settings - particularly its relation to social and cultural issues - and revels in uncovering stories that might not otherwise see the light of day.
He has a BA in Philosophy from the University of London, with a year spent studying abroad in the sunny climes of Malta.