Walmart Pay Shaking Up #DigitalWallet Space

As 2016 progresses, community FIs and cardholders alike will want to take note of the new up-and-comers in digital payments. Walmart Pay may prove to be the catalyst for a new era in the digital wallet battle.

A flurry of activity filled the digital payments space in 2015, and 2016 will likely see new entrants. Already, Walmart Pay and Chase Pay have joined the fray. Each new entrant has the potential to redefine the consumer payment experience. Whether that is for better or worse remains to be seen.

The introduction of Walmart Pay is a good example of a shift in the digital payment experience for consumers. While payment options available through Apple, Samsung and Google are contactless, Walmart Pay uses QR codes. To date, QR code scanning has not taken off in the U.S. However, this may not mean Walmart Pay will suffer an untimely end. Walmart is one of the first U.S. retailers to develop its own payment application, opening the door for other retailers to follow suit.

As I shared in a recent article, another emerging issue resulting from the flood of new mobile payment offerings centers on device storage space. Consumers will only keep a few select apps on their devices. What that threshold is and how quickly consumers reach it is not yet certain. With the introduction of Walmart Pay and potentially other retailers joining in, consumers will have to prioritize their payment apps.

One way app developers have attempted to retain real estate on consumers’ devices is by integrating additional capabilities. For example, Apple Wallet holds credit and debit cards, boarding passes and more. Community financial institutions (FIs) should monitor these trends in order to enable their payment cards for the most popular digital wallet apps.