Target launches payment system within its app


With the introduction of Wallet, Target customers will now have the option of seamlessly checking out their in-store purchases with the use of their smartphones. Wallet uses a barcode scanned at check out that includes payment and applicable coupons.

In a press release, Target explained that its new Wallet allows for customers to pay and rake in discounts with Cartwheel all in a single transaction. That is what makes the retailer's announcement of Wallet, its mobile payments system, one that folks might want to pay close attention to. Wallet is now restricted to Target's REDcard credit card and debit card. Target is in the midst of a major project to combine the Cartwheel app with the main Target mobile app.

But, as with Walmart and other retailers that still shun third-party digital wallets, this strategy may need to adjust accordingly if and when Apple and Android Pay scale to a point where they are the defacto preference for consumers.

Both Target and Walmart are retailers who are part of CurrentC - a group of retailers with their own mobile payment solution. Then again, it helps that Wallet only supports the retailer's own REDcard for the time being - the retailer saves on processing fees by pushing its own card.

Shoppers can also link Target's "REDcard" to the mobile wallet, as either a debit card that links to a customer's bank account or as a credit card, offering 5% cash back on purchases. CVS and Starbucks offer similar mobile payment mechanisms. "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".

The rollout of Wallet isn't the first of its kind for retailers - Walmart launched Walmart Pay in 2015 and is now available in all of its stores nationwide.