With no sign of a full-scale MCX launch in sight, Walmart, a leading member of the retailer-owned mobile payments venture, has taken matters into its own hands by adding a QR code-based payments feature to its app.
Walmart Pay will let customers add any major credit, debit, prepaid or Walmart gift card to the retailer's mobile app and then scan a QR code at checkout with their iPhone or Android cameras to pay.
The new feature works in a select number of stores this week and will go nationwide in the first half of next year, making it available to the 22 million people who use the Walmart app each month.
The launch sees Walmart take on the likes of Google, Apple and Samsung in an increasingly crowded mobile money market, although Daniel Eckert, SVP, services, Walmart US stresses that integration with these rival wallets could be on the cards.
Walmart has been one of the driving forces behind MCX, a QR code-based mobile wallet joint venture with other retail giants such as Target, CVS and 7-Eleven that hoped to bypass credit cards, reducing fees. However, years after being announced, MCX has still to launch and has seen powerful rivals such as Apple and Google hit the market.
Nevertheless, Neil Ashe, president and CEO, Walmart Global eCommerce told the New York Times that firm is still backing MCX despite refusing to say when its CurrentC app will launch.
Says Ashe: "Walmart Pay is the latest example - and a powerful addition - of how we are transforming the shopping experience by seamlessly connecting online, mobile and stores for the 140 million customers who shop with us weekly."