September 20, 2018

Target debuts its mobile payment system within its app

05 December 2017, 04:02 | Edward Lowe

Target debuts its mobile payment system within its app

Trio of iPhone screenshots of the Wallet capability in action

Describing the launch of Target Wallet as new may be something of a stretch since it's essentially an augmentation of the pre-existing Cartwheel digital coupons and discounts feature in its app, with payments now embedded into the coupon redemption capability.

Target's announcement post plays up how much faster this process is compared to "other payment types", which presumably refers to traditional swipe and chip-and-PIN methods.

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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. Not unlike fellow retailer Walmart, Target has just announced its own Target Wallet system to enable the use of smartphones to pay at checkout counters. "Guests are going to love the convenience of having payment, Cartwheel [a coupon clipping service] offers, Weekly Ad coupons and GiftCards all in one place with Wallet".

Target, like Walmart, probably has a sufficiently broad and loyal customer base to make the provision of a standalone mobile payment platform viable. However, Walmart allows customers to make payments on Apple and Android devices with nearly all major credit, debit, and pre-paid cards or Walmart gift cards.

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You also can't use gift cards with the Wallet feature at the moment, but that feature will be coming "soon". CVS and Starbucks offer similar mobile payment mechanisms.

"These "scan a barcode" solutions lack the magic of NFC", said Julie Ask, mobile research analyst with Forrester. To use Wallet for in-store payment, you must be a Red Card holder - whether it be the debit or credit version - and download the Target app from the App Store.

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Once you have the app open, you scan the barcode of the specific item you want to purchase.

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