When Walmart Pay was announced just before Christmas, the favorite comparison point was Apple and its payment platform.
Three months later – well into pilot programs in Kansas, Arkansas and Missouri and less than 6 weeks before the national rollout is set to start in June, the conversation has shifted to customer service, eCommerce and how well Walmart has prepared to step into the digital arena and fight for dominance.
“It was really a design around improving checkout, not just payment,” Daniel Eckert, senior vice president, services of Walmart U.S. told Fortune as he walked a reported to a pre-launch demo of the app. “When we looked at checkout, there was still friction in the process.”
The scan and go based payment system allows customers to ring in the purchase, scan a QR code with their phone – and poof, done. Walmart Pay does not keep any card data on the users’ phone (though it does work with all major debit, credit, prepaid or Walmart cards), instead holding that payment data virtually.
Eckert further noted that Walmart is hoping to develop “scan-as-you-go,” technology enabling customers’ smartphones to ring up the items as they shop or at the cash register to save time at checkout.