WalmartPay is now available in all of the retail giant’s 4,600-plus stores in the U.S., marking one of the fastest nationwide rollouts the company has launched in recent years.
Walmart’s own mobile pay platform which works inside its mobile app was designed by the retailer to help make the checkout process easier, according to Daniel Eckert, senior vice president of services for Walmart U.S.
Walmart held a press conference Wednesday (July 6) with the media to discuss the rollout.
“There is something very powerful about the ease and simplicity of WalmartPay,” Eckert said. “What’s even more powerful though, is what this means for our customers. We want to make every day easier for busy families. We’re connecting all the parts of Walmart into one seamless shopping experience with great stores, easy pickup, fast delivery, frictionless checkout and apps and websites that are simple to use.”
Eckert said the Walmart mobile app has been downloaded by 20 million users, but the retailer has not yet released data on how many of those users are activating the mobile pay function. The app is also used for prescription refills, gift registry and “Savings Catcher” as well as in-store navigation and product search.
CUSTOMER APPROVAL REPORT
He did say the in the last week as WalmartPay became available nationwide there was a 45% increase in use from the previous week. He said 3 out of 4 customers who used it give it a 5-star rating, and 4 out of 5 users recommend it to their friends. One of the more impressive stats shared by Eckert was that 88% of the transactions on WalmartPay are from repeat customers.
He said 3,500 stores have had the service turned on in the past three weeks and the company is working to ensure its 1.2 million employees at stores are knowledgeable about the service. He said there will also be a marketing campaign around the mobile pay option at checkout and plenty of signage in stores to alert customers.
Walmart was asked if customers using WalmartPay were spending more than those who did not. Eckert said there is no evidence yet that consumers who use the mobile pay are increasing the basket size or their shopping frequency. He said it’s more about just making the normal shopping trip easier at checkout.
He was also asked if WalmartPay was a way for the retailer to dodge interchange fees. Eckert refuted that claim saying the retailer looked at WalmartPay as a way to give the shopper a better experience. He said it’s not merely a payment for payment’s sake but a way Walmart felt it make checkout easier for customers. Eckert said WalmartPay was engineered to be flexible to work with mobile wallet applications in the future if the demand is there to support it.
INCENTIVE FOR USE?
Talk Business & Politics asked Eckert if Walmart would consider using the WalmartPay as a way to reward customers with loyalty perks in order to speed up adoption and usage. He said Walmart would never say never but he didn’t think the product needs incentivizing.
“We believe saving time is a new currency for busy families and WalmartPay can do that. We continue to receive applause from customers who use it,” Eckert said.
A recent study by Dallas-based Parks Associates found that 25% of smartphone owners in the U.S. use mobile platforms at least once a month. While Apple Pay and Android Pay are accepted by nearly 3 million retailers, the majority of mobile pay users are loyal consumers who use retail-specific payment apps. For instance Starbucks’ mobile pay platform processes 5 million transactions per month, according to the report.
The report found consumers were more apt to use retail-specific cards that give foster rewards and other loyalty perks as such Starbucks.
WalmartPay works with Apple or Android phone inside the Walmart mobile app and Eckert said the customer’s credit and debit card numbers are not stored at Walmart. He said the transactions are safe and secure and take place behind Walmart’s paywall.