Walmart launched a new payment method designed to make paying for items in Walmart stores easier. Customers in Arkansas and Texas can now use their smartphones to pay at checkout. The retailer explained the new feature:
“Walmart Pay is like no other mobile payments solution available today. With this launch, Walmart becomes the only retailer to offer its own payment solution that works with any iOS or Android device, at any checkout lane, and with any major credit, debit, pre-paid or Walmart gift card – all through the Walmart mobile app.”
What may be more surprising than the new payment method is the revelation in the announcement that the Walmart app ranks among the top three retail apps in the Google and Apple app stores. More than twenty million customers actively use the Walmart app each month.
Walmart is also said to be testing 2-day shipping to challenge Amazon Prime. The Wall Street Journal said Walmart is testing a two-day shipping subscription service and building a regional delivery network to compete head-on with Amazon Prime.
“The company will also put its major transportation fleet and logistics know-how up against Amazon.com Inc. as it makes a play to meet Amazon on its own turf. Wal-Mart will tap regional carriers to deliver more of its packages, according to people familiar with the project. But it will also use its 6,000 tractor-trailers, one of the largest private trucking fleets in the country, along with its 4,600 U.S. stores, to take on what has become one of its biggest rivals.”
The Journal noted Walmart’s ShippingPass program that it started testing last year. “Starting Thursday, ShippingPass members will get free two-day shipping for $49 a year.” The program is available by invitation only.