In a press release, Target announced the launch of a new payment system known as ‘Wallet’ feature for its iOS and android app. Due to Target’s reluctance to use Apple Pay, the retail giant came up with its own solution to make paying easier for its customers. The new Wallet lets customers pay and collect discounts with Cartwheel all within a single transaction. Cartwheel is Target’s digital coupon platform which allows customers to save different promotions to the their accounts.
Wallet aims to decrease the checkout time at the stores. It uses a barcode scanned at checkout which includes payment and applicable coupons. Target is boasting that Wallet can make checkout four times faster than other payment types. Wallet is currently restricted to Target’s REDcard credit and debit card only. To use Wallet for in-store payment, you must be a Red Card Holder. At check out, one has to simply open the Target app and scan the barcode in the Wallet section of the app. Target said that the ability to redeem Target gift cards with Wallet is coming soon.
“Wallet in the Target app makes checkout easier and faster than ever,” Mike McNamara, Target’s chief information and digital officer, said in a statement. “Guests are going to love the convenience of having payment, Cartwheel offers, Weekly Ad coupons, and GiftCards all in one place with Wallet.”
Target’s new payment feature ‘Wallet’ is announced two years after their rival Walmart got into mobile-payments business. Unlike Target, Walmart allows customers to make payments on Apple and Android with almost all major credit and debit cards as well as prepaid and Walmart gift cards. WalmartPay is based on a QR code checkout system. Starbucks and CVS also offer similar option of mobile payment mechanisms.
According to a prediction by Forrester, by 2019 mobile payments will account for just one percent of all payment transactions. For shoppers who are looking for speed and convenience, the NFC-free mobile which is offered by Target and Walmart could reduce a widespread acceptance.
“These ‘scan a barcode’ solutions lack the magic of NFC,” said Julie Ask, mobile research analyst with Forrester. “NFC simply pops up and works if the phone is near a terminal. These ‘open the app, find the pay tab, and scan’ services will be slower unless they find a way to skip steps and match the speed of NFC.”