Walmart Shoppers Will Soon Be Able To Pay For Their Stuff In Stores Using Retailer’s Smartphone App

In a sign that Walmart might be giving up on CurrentC — a mobile payment system that a consortium led by the retailer dreamed up a few years ago that has yet to become a reality — the chain has announced that shoppers in its stores will soon be able to pay for their stuff with the Walmart smartphone app.

As its fellow retailers have started to offer Apple Pay and other mobile payment systems as options for shoppers, it seems Walmart doesn’t want to be left out in the cold when it comes to new technology: the Bentonville, AR company says it will offer the service starting Thursday at some stores near its headquarters, while the feature will be available nationwide in the first half of next year.

Walmart has 22 million people regularly using its app for discounts and help finding items in stores, the company says, so it’s no surprise it wants some of those to come over to the mobile payment side. But because it refused to accept Apple Pay, while CurrentC is still in development (we think?), it needed another option.

Originally, Walmart left its payment app’s design open so it could work with other mobile payment types in the future, the company said, but for the time being, this proprietary app will be the only way to pay with your phone in stores.

Shoppers will have to add payment information to the app (once it’s downloaded, of course). For those who already have a account, credit card information connected to that account will transfer to the app.

Once it’s time to check out, customers will use their phone’s camera to scan a QR code that will pop up on the credit card reader’s screen, which will then process the payment with the credit card on file.

Walmart says the system will work with almost any payment card or mobile device.

“We made a strategic decision to design Walmart Pay to work with almost any smartphone and accept almost any payment type – even allowing for the integration of other mobile wallets in the future,” Daniel Eckert, senior vice president of services for Walmart said. “The result is an innovation that will make the ease of mobile payments a reality for millions of Americans.”

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.