Mobile payments are officially mainstream. Wal-Mart has launched “Walmart Pay,” a Wal-Mart-specific mobile app for payments via debit, credit, and gift cards. (You know, like PayPal.) Spokespeople at the company say the mobile app development team is hard at work integrating even more cutting-edge mobile payment options, to include features like mobile wallet integration in the near future.
With mobile payments coming to America’s favorite big-box retailer, the prospect of spending bitcoins on bulk goods at Sam’s Club could be just around the corner — although of course San Francisco iPhone app development companies have been promising as much for years. Now that Wal-Mart is throwing their weight into the picture, we can expect to see mobile and digital payments coming to the mainstream in a serious way.
Wal-Mart iPhone and Android app developers have also been hard at work developing CurrentC, their own branded mobile wallet with a group of outside retailers. The app is currently live as an alternative to Apple Pay, but whether or not a low-brow brand identity like Wal-Mart can trump a high-end brand like Apple remains to be seen. Overall, iPhone app developers and tech scene experts seem less than convinced, viewing the project as more a sign of the growing presence of mobile payments in day-to-day life than a game-changing app with the potential to turn heads in Silicon Valley.
Chances are, though, that the market will be big enough for a multitude of mobile wallet options — although it’s probable that Apple Pay will be the “PayPal” of mobile payments. Mobile payments coming to Wal-Mart may be a scary prospect for smaller retailers, but the silver lining for app developers is that increased exposure to mobile payments (and the idea of mobile wallets) could bring financial app use to more users than ever before.Tags: app development, branded app, credit card payments, iphone app, mobile, mobile payments, mobile wallet, native app, retailer apps, san francisco iphone app developers, Wal-Mart, wal-mart pay, walmart, walmart pay