Target debuts its mobile payment system within its app


USA retailer Target has embraced the mobile payments revolution with the launch of "Wallet", a proprietary app that enables shoppers to check out in store via their smartphone by scanning product barcodes. Wallet uses a barcode scanned at check out that includes payment and applicable coupons.

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. Wallet is now restricted to Target's REDcard credit card and debit card.

With Wallet, customers can check out in-store using their smartphone while also applying Cartwheel digital coupons or discounts after scanning their barcode.

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Target today has announced a new Wallet feature for its iOS app. Eventually, customers will be able to store and redeem their Target GiftCards with Wallet also.

"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.

Where Wallet does have a leg-up on Apple Pay is its integration with Cartwheel. 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. Either way, the launch leaves plenty of opportunities for customers to try the app out, especially at a time when customers are frequently out shopping, and trying to get out of stores as quickly as possible.

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Forrester predicts that by 2019, mobile payments will account for just 1 percent of all payment transactions. "NFC simply pops up and works if the phone is near a terminal".

The catch, for now, is that you need to have one of Target's REDcards for debit or credit purchases to use the app, but Target plans to extend the service beyond RED members at some point in the future.

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