Target on Monday introduced a mobile payments system to its iOS and Android app, dubbed Wallet, that aims to decrease checkout times at its stores. Wallet uses a barcode scanned at check out that includes payment and applicable coupons.
Wallet can make checkout four times faster than other payment types, according to Target. Wallet is currently restricted to Target's REDcard credit card and debit card.
Wallet combines savings mechanisms like Target's "Cartwheel offers", weekly ad coupons, and 5 percent "REDcard" discount.
Target said the ability to redeem Target gift cards with Wallet is coming soon.
"Wallet in the Target app makes checkout easier and faster than ever," Mike McNamara, Target's chief information and digital officer, said in a statement. "Guests are going to love the convenience of having payment, Cartwheel offers, Weekly Ad coupons, and GiftCards all in one place with Wallet."
Earlier this year, Target overhauled its mobile app with one-stop-shop of what the retailer offers, a feature that shows shoppers their location as they shop and highlights Cartwheel deals nearby, and online purchasing. It has already included Apple Pay integration on iOS.
Target's move into mobile payments is on the heels of Walmart and its 4,600 stores nationwide. However, Walmart allows customers to make payments on Apple and Android devices with almost all major credit, debit, and pre-paid cards or Walmart gift cards. CVS and Starbucks offer similar mobile payment mechanisms.
Forrester predicts that by 2019, mobile payments will account for just 1 percent of all payment transactions. For shoppers looking for speed and convenience, the NFC-free mobile offerings of Target and Walmart could inhibit widespread adoption.
"These 'scan a barcode' solutions lack the magic of NFC," said Julie Ask, mobile research analyst with Forrester. "NFC simply pops up and works if the phone is near a terminal. These 'open the app, find the pay tab, and scan' services will be slower unless they find a way to skip steps and match the speed of NFC."
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