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Analysis: Walmart Pay


Although numerous players have entered the mobile payment arena in recent months, Walmart Pay is poised to be much more disruptive to the mobile payment landscape

Walmart is the largest retailer in the U.S. and its app has 22 million active users, providing a huge built-in user base. Major competing mobile payment solutions such as Apple Pay and Samsung Pay could see a notable reduction in usage if large numbers of Walmart shoppers begin regularly making purchases with Walmart Pay.

However, CurrentC, the mobile payment application from retailer-backed consortium Merchant Commerce Exchange (MCX) that is now being piloted at stores in Columbus, Ohio, may have even more to worry about.

Since its launch in fall 2014, CurrentC has traveled a bit of a rocky road. Initially participating retailers, including Walmart, said they would not accept Apple Pay, but most have since backed away from that pledge. CurrentC also was initially scheduled for full rollout this year, but has not moved past several pilot programs.

Now that its exclusivity agreement with MCX has ended, Walmart is offering CurrentC direct competition with Walmart Pay. Even if other retailers do not follow suit, the essential loss of Walmart as a potential source of CurrentC transactions vastly lessens its potential value. And other supporting retailers may well decide to drop out or also offer their own mobile payment applications, meaning CurrentC may soon become not so current.

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