Six months in, Walmart Pay is officially available in every one of the 4,600+ Walmart stores in the U.S. That rollout, which started on a limited basis in December, literally in Walmart’s backyard, has steadily ramped up over the last six months.
That was the big news that came from the retail giant yesterday (July 6). But just how well is the mobile payments service being received? Walmart released some brand new stats that give us a peek behind the Walmart Pay curtain.
The Key Stats
“It’s all about saving time, and time is a new currency for a busy family,” SVP of Walmart Services Daniel Eckert said about Walmart Pay during the conference call. Walmart’s everyday low pricing already saves money for the 140M consumers who walk through their doors each week, but time is a currency that everyone wants to save, Eckert acknowledges.
That, he affirms, is the core value proposition for the 20M+ active monthly Walmart.com users – who can now use those accounts to assist them in their physical shopping journey from discovery to checkout. When Walmart Pay launched in December of 2015, Eckert revealed the results of a comScore study that confirmed that more than 20M+ consumers each month use the Walmart.com app inside of the store to find products and check prices. That habit provided Walmart with a natural opening to adapt an app that consumers already use inside the store to something that enabled a more inclusive in-store shopping and payments experience.
Yesterday, Eckert suggested that, while early days, Walmart Pay may be well on its way. Walmart Pay transactions have increased 45 percent in the past week – a function, no doubt of the fact that Walmart launched in a slew of new states in the past few weeks alone.
But what that stat suggests, is that consumers seem interested in giving Walmart Pay a try – because they know they can. If they have the Walmart.com app, they have Walmart Pay. And if they are in any one of the 4,600 Walmart stores, they can give it a try. Uncertainty eliminated through ubiquity, a struggle that we have seen other mobile wallets with longer tenure in the physical world struggle to achieve.
Eckert went on to say that Walmart Pay transactions come from “repeat users” – an important measure of usage. Eighty-eight percent, he said, of Walmart Pay transactions come from those who have already used it at least once.
Eckert also suggested that consumers have become Walmart Pay brand evangelists, with 82 percent of customers (Walmart didn’t specify which type of customers) recommending it. Seventy-five percent of customers have given Walmart Pay a five-star rating in the Walmart app.
“There is something very powerful about the ease and simplicity of Walmart Pay,” 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.”
Walmart Pay’s value was engineered to go beyond checkout to include the organization of multiple tender types, unused gift cards and Savings Catcher balances – which can be applied to the amount due at checkout. Walmart Pay works with an iOS or Android device or on any phone that can download the Walmart app.
While Walmart’s execs were non-committal yesterday on integrating other wallets, it wasn’t shut down entirely. As Eckert affirmed from the beginning, Walmart Pay “was built with flexibility in mind,” and he said that discussions with several third-party wallets are underway.
Walmart Pay’s Evolution
The concept of the in-app mobile payments option that allows consumers to pay at Walmart’s physical terminals was first revealed in December 2015 and piloted in Kansas, Arkansas and Missouri in May before officially going live in June. Since then, the service has rapidly expanded all across the country.
As Eckert pointed out when the service first launched, that “scan-as-you-go” tech is designed to make lines move faster and save time for customers for something that causes a lot of in-store friction: checkout. The QR code used in enabling the checkout process is not used to process the payment, but rather to authenticate the consumer to the app. Walmart Pay does not keep any card data on the user’s phone since transactions are processed as online transactions via the Walmart.com app.
Eckert remains emphatic that Walmart Pay is about improving “checkout,” not just payment — getting rid of the friction that unfortunately plaques checkout, even with a physical card.
“Walmart Pay is just the beginning,” Eckert said yesterday, hinting that there may be bigger things in store for the mobile payments service. “We’re building deeper relationships with our customers across our ecosystem and are looking forward to delivering new tools like Walmart Pay that allow them to use the Walmart app as their remote control for a faster, more convenient shopping experience.”