Mobile Payments

Target Getting Into Mobile Payments Game With Its Own Service

Target is gearing up to get into the mobile pay game, with Recode reporting the retailer plans to launch a mobile payment feature in one or more of its mobile apps.

According to the report, citing comments that Chief Information and Digital Officer Michael McNamara made to Recode at the National Retail Federation conference in New York last week, Target hasn’t decided if the payment feature will be part of its main Target app or the Cartwheel coupon app or if Target will include it on both apps. Walmart and Kohl’s already have mobile payment features on their own apps. Early on, Walmart, Kohl’s and Target threw their support behind CurrentC, a payment app, but it never took off on a wide enough scale.

McNamara said in the report it was logical for the retailer to give shoppers a way to pay and access digital coupons all in one step. He noted the service would only be for shoppers who have a Target REDcard credit or debit card in the beginning. With the card, shoppers get 5 percent off all their purchases and free shipping for online orders.

The move on the part of Target comes at a time when the retailer has been struggling, with consumers opting to shop online in record numbers this past holiday season. Last week, Target reported transaction growth was flat year over year, hurt by sales in the electronics and entertainment categories, which saw high single-digit declines. At the same time that transaction growth was flat, online transactions increased more than 30 percent. The higher mix of lower-margin growth from its online business was enough to result in a decline in fourth quarter margins and EPS. “Despite these challenges, we are positioned to deliver full-year adjusted EPS of $5.00 or more in 2016, which would mark an all-time high for Target,” Target CEO Brian Cornell said.

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