Walmart bolsters money services with app update
Walmart has launched an "Express Money Services" mobile app capability in several states — including New Hampshire, West Virginia, Indiana and South Carolina — to help customers expedite their Walmart "money services" transactions, according to multiple Walmart press releases and media reports.
Walmart said in its press release that express money services is the first of two app-based express services rolling out this year, with a similar service for pharmacy customers expected to launch later this year.
Users of the express money services feature in the Walmart app can use it in combination with Walmart "Express Lanes," which the retailer said are available in the vast majority of its stores. When checking out, users can pull out their smartphone and scan a QR code at the debit reader to pay the cashier in that way; receipts and transaction details are then saved electronically.
Express money services is initially available for domestic and international money transfers, but the service will expand to include bill payments and check cashing. The move seems designed to demonstrate the app's convenience and therefore get more customers to try out Walmart's services — especially the retailer's Walmart2Walmart domestic money transfer service.
As part of the feature launch, Walmart is also offering fee-free Walmart2Walmart domestic money transfers in all stores through Sept. 30, so long as they are initiated in the Walmart app. Those transactions would normally cost somewhere between $4 to $16 per transaction.
Express money services vastly improves upon a process that previously required customers to fill out lengthy money transfer paperwork in stores. Now, they can do all of it in-app. This particular app upgrade also allows customers to easily send pickup information to receivers through e-mail or text message.
Walmart has made it something of a mission this year to continue enhancing its money services. It added money and pharmacy services features to its mobile app at the beginning of the year and later lowered its fees on money transfers. Although the fee cut was widely seen as an example of Walmart's famous (or infamous?) price war tactics, the new express money services features show that the retailer is dedicated to innovating on the platform and not just scraping for bargain hunters.
Fast-tracking the customers who are using those services makes the app more appealing as well, and could help Walmart continue to succeed, as non-traditional retail services and features help it avoid the doldrums other retailers have faced.