Can a mobile payment service gain users by offering instant access to credit card accounts? Walmart is about to find out. The retail giant has launched a program that enables Walmart Pay customers to spend via their credit lines immediately upon approval instead of waiting for plastic cards to arrive.
The program applies to Walmart credit cards. “The ability to immediately shop with seamless, secure access—whenever, however and wherever a customer wants—is now a reality,” Walmart said. “It’s yet another way we’re meeting customers where they are—on their mobile devices—and helping to make their lives easier and more convenient.” Walmart did not immediately respond to a question about whether it would do the same for prepaid.
Walmart Pay launched about a year ago, rolling it out in the chain’s 4,600 stores. The service works with any iOS or Android device at any checkout lane and with any credit, debit, prepaid or Walmart gift card users load into the Walmart mobile app. The retailer said the product stands as the third most frequently used mobile wallet in the U.S., behind Samsung Pay and Apple Pay, and ahead of Android Pay.
The availability of instant credit through Walmart Pay comes as analysts and studies say that more incentives could increase usage of mobile wallets. For instance, a recent study found that consumers offered incentives use mobile payments inside stores an average of 4.6 times over a one-week period compared with 3.1 times for those not offered incentives. In-app purchases also were higher with incentives—four times a week compared to 2.4 times without them.
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