QR code-based payments have their benefits like tying debit and credit card transactions to store reward cards and saving receipts in one step, but they still don’t beat the convenience of NFC-based methods like Apple Pay which are less finicky and more secure. Major retailer Walmart, however, is pushing forward with its plans to make checking out smarter using its own QR code-based system called Walmart Pay. And although the two systems could both be options, Walmart continues to resist other digital wallets including Apple Pay.
Announced late last year, Walmart Pay is starting to roll out to iPhone users in the latest version of the Walmart app for iOS.
What’s New in Version 6.8
Now there’s a place for all your receipts! • In-store returns are easier than ever. • Quickly add paper receipts to your history. • Use Walmart Pay (available in all stores soon) and get receipts stored automatically.
A new home screen design, with all the features you already know, but nicer to use and to look at.
The Apple Pay alternative doesn’t appear totally live, however, as the option isn’t present in my own testing. Walmart’s resistance to Apple Pay was originally explained as part of its commitment to CurrentC, an Apple Pay competitor similar in design to Walmart Pay which has had trouble getting off the ground.
Compared to Apple Pay, Walmart Pay does have its benefits to both the retailer and shopper. Walmart gathers more data of course, but shoppers collect digital receipts and have an easier experience tracking savings.
But the actual payment method is less convenient. Apple Pay on iPhones means just waving the device over the checkout terminal; as long as it’s powered on and Apple Pay has been set up, the process is frictionless and only requires a fingerprint with Touch ID to authenticate.
Walmart Pay, by comparison, requires having the Walmart iOS app installed, then finding and launching it at the checkout line before scanning a barcode on a terminal with the camera. Still, Walmart bills it as a time-saver…
Walmart previously said its Walmart Pay solution would be rolling out to select stores last December followed by a full roll out in the first half of this year. Look for the Apple Pay alternative in the latest version of Walmart’s iOS app for free on the App Store.