Almost everyone shops at Walmart. But does Walmart take Apple Pay, one of the world’s most popular contactless payment solutions? Read on to find out.
With over 4,700 stores countrywide, Walmart is undoubtedly among the largest retail stores in the US. It deals with almost every household item, from groceries and food to electronics, making it a convenient one-stop shop for many. Even better, Walmart’s consumer-friendly prices make it a favorite for many shoppers.
Now, when it comes to payment methods for your purchases, does Walmart take Apple Pay? Well, despite Apple Pay being one of the most popular and convenient ways of paying for purchases anywhere, Walmart still refuses to accommodate the service.
Why? We will find out later!
The fact is Walmart doesn’t accept Apple Pay, whether in its stores or online. But that doesn’t make Walmart any less convenient. It still offers numerous other payment methods like Walmart Pay, credit cards, cash, debit cards, PayPal, and checks.
Why Walmart Does Not Take Apple Pay
Walmart does not currently accept Apple Pay as a payment method in any of its stores or online. And as promised, let us explore the reasons behind it.
1. Cost Implications
Enabling contactless payments like Apple Pay requires retailers to update their point of sale systems with new compatible hardware and software. This can be a costly investment, especially for a retailer as large as Walmart, with over 4,700 stores. That’s one reason why Walmart wants to stick to its payment methods.
2. Exclusivity with Walmart Pay
In 2015, Walmart launched its own mobile payment system called Walmart Pay. It wanted customers to use this proprietary system rather than third-party options like Apple Pay.
Before then, Walmart had an exclusive agreement with MCX. This agreement required MCX’s members to only use MCX mobile payment service. This hindered the retailer from using Apple Pay even before they launched their Walmart Pay.
3. Data Collection
Walmart Pay allows Walmart to collect customer data and shopping habits in a way that using Apple Pay does not. This helps Walmart to acquire first-hand customer data. This data enables the retailer to better understand its customers and target offers and promotions.
4. Walmart Pay is More Popular
In 2017, Walmart claimed that Walmart Pay was a more popular mobile payment solution than Apple Pay. As such, the retailer was unwilling to include Apple Pay in its payment solutions list.
While this might or might not be the whole truth, this statement tried to explain why Walmart couldn’t take Apple Pay. And up to now, it still doesn’t accept Apple Pay payments.
What Is Walmart Pay?
Walmart Pay is a mobile payment and digital wallet service developed by Walmart in 2015. It allows customers to pay for purchases in Walmart stores using the Walmart app on their smartphones.
Using this mobile payment service at checkout is easy. Shoppers only need to open the app, select their payment method, and scan the QR code displayed by the cashier.
Walmart Pay works with Walmart gift cards, credit/debit cards, and stored balances. It allows Walmart to offer a mobile payment option while still collecting customer data, with the aim of creating an even better customer experience. The exclusive use of Walmart Pay seems to be part of the retailer’s broader strategy.
Setting Up Walmart Pay
Walmart Pay is the mobile payment option offered by Walmart. It is linked directly to customers’ credit, debit, gift cards, and Walmart store accounts. Here is how to set it up:
- Download the Walmart app on your iOS or Android device and create an account if you don’t have one already.
- Open the app and tap on Services
- Choose Walmart Pay
- Sign in with your email if you already have an account, or tap create new if you don’t.
- Add your preferred payment method – this can be a credit/debit card, Walmart gift card, or account balance.
- Fill in your card’s details and billing address, then tap “Save.”
- You’ll have an option to add even more cards if you wish
- Once the setup is done, you can now use your Walmart Pay to make purchases at any Walmart store or online.
How to Use Walmart Pay
Using Walmart Pay at checkout is designed to be quick and convenient. It can be used both at stores with staff or self-service registers. Here are the main steps:
- Go to the checkout lane and scan the items you want to pay for.
- Open the Walmart app and select Walmart Pay.
- Open your phone’s camera and scan the QR code displayed at the self-checkout, or have the cashier scan your phone.
- If you have a security feature enabled, authenticate with Touch ID or your PIN.
- Receipt and payment confirmation will be displayed on your phone.
Note: Walmart Pay doesn’t offer paper receipts. Therefore, once you have your payment confirmation on your phone, you are all good to go.
See Related: How to Get a Free Apple Gift Card
Does Walmart Take Apple Pay? Other Modes of Payment that Walmart Accepts
Though it does not accept Apple Pay yet, Walmart does accept the following payment types:
- Credit and debit cards with a physical chip or magnetic strip
- Walmart gift cards and merchandise credit
- Money Orders
- SNAP/EBT benefits
- Health saving accounts (HSA) and flexible spending account (FSA) cards
- Affirm Financing
- Walmart Pay
This list shows that shoppers here have several options to pay conveniently at Walmart, even though Apple Pay is not one of them currently.
Grocery Stores that Use Apple Pay
Though Walmart does not, Apple Pay can be used at many other grocery chains. Here are some examples, although the list is quite long:
- Whole Foods
- Trader Joe’s
- Lucky Supermarkets
- Cub Foods
- Albertsons, etc.
Therefore, if you prefer using Apple Pay, you can always do your shopping in either of these stores.
Other Stores that do not Accept Apple Pay
Walmart is not the only grocery or retail store that doesn’t take Apple Pay. Others on this list include:
- Dick’s Sporting Goods
- Bed Bath & Beyond
- Hobby Lobby
- Home Depot
- Guitar Center
- Sam’s Club
These are large, popular retail stores that have remained adamant about not accepting Apple Pay. And while most of them accept contactless payment solutions, Apple Pay is still a big no.
Benefits of Using Apple Pay
Apple Pay offers some nice benefits that may make customers prefer it over other payment methods:
- Security – Apple Pay transactions use one-time dynamic security codes and Touch ID authentication. This helps reduce fraud.
- Convenience – With just a thumbprint or glance at your phone, you can finish transactions very quickly.
- Rewards integration – Apple Pay is connected to your existing credit/debit cards, so you still earn rewards.
- Privacy – Apple Pay doesn’t reveal your full payment card details to retailers.
While Walmart currently only supports its own Walmart Pay system, the future is still unknown. For instance, the continued growth of contactless payments may encourage the retailer to eventually add Apple Pay as an option in the future. But for now, Walmart shoppers will have to rely on other payment methods.
See Related: Is Apple Card Worth It?
Walmart Pay Features
As mentioned earlier, Walmart Pay is a mobile wallet. While it’s designed to store your card details (credit and debit cards), it has no extraordinary features.
However, it allows users to use paper coupons for their shopping. Walmart says that with Walmart Pay, you can use your coupons to cover part or your entire bill. Just hand the coupons to the cashier, and will include them as part of your payment.
Walmart Pay is also available for Android and iOS devices. And it’s completely free to use.
You can connect it with various cards, including MasterCard, Visa, Walmart gift cards, Discover, and America Express credit cards, as well as prepaid cards. The only restriction is that you cannot link it to your checking account.
Is Apple Pay Worth the Hype?
Apple Pay has garnered much attention since its launch, but does the contactless payment system live up to its hype? For Apple device owners, Apple Pay delivers on the promise of a faster, more secure payment experience. The ability to checkout with just Face ID or Touch ID is far more convenient than fumbling for cards.
Along with protecting card details, Apple Pay integrates neatly with budgeting apps to track spending. Users appreciate these tangible benefits in their daily lives.
However, Apple Pay’s closed ecosystem within Apple devices limits its universal adoption. And exclusive deals with retailers like Walmart for their own wallets leave Apple Pay out of the running. While growing quickly, its total transaction volume still pales in comparison to old payment rails like credit cards.
For hardcore Apple fans, Apple Pay is a seamless extension of the Apple ecosystem. But its hype likely exceeds its real-world impact, at least for now. Non-Apple users have plenty of other mobile payment options.