Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has over the last week expanded its Walmart Pay mobile wallet application to 15 new states—Virginia, Michigan, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Nebraska, Tennessee, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, the Carolinas and the Dakotas—according to CNET.
Walmart Pay links to the customer's credit, debit or Wal-Mart gift card: To pay, shoppers scan a unique QR code that pops up at the payment terminal with their smartphone camera. The app can only be used at Wal-Mart stores.
More than 20 million Wal-Mart customers use the app monthly, according to the retailer's press release.
A couple of years ago, Wal-Mart led the effort to derail Near Field Communications-based Apple Pay through the development of CurrentC, a QR code-based mobile payment app that never got off the ground.
That project grew contaminated by retailer priorities like avoiding long-loathed credit card fees that interfered with more customer-facing priorities. Plus, for whatever reason, CurrentC wasn't ready when MCX, the Wal-Mart-led group of retailers developing it, said it would be—any of the times it said it would be.
Now Wal-Mart itself is going full throttle in its effort to establish its own wallet, unveiled last December, which has not just payment capabilities but also rich data collection and loyalty leverage. In the past Wal-Mart has said Walmart Pay will be available nationwide before the second half of 2016, according to CNET.
In addition to paying for purchases, Wal-Mart customers access Walmart Pay to check in at stores, to pick up online orders in stores, refill prescriptions, and find items on shelves. It ranks among the top three retail apps in the Google and Apple app storefronts, Wal-Mart said.