Reports indicate that Wal-Mart Stores Inc (NYSE:WMT) Walmart Pay is close to beating Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) Apple Pay with regards to mobile payments usage in the United States. Currently Walmart pay is available in 4,774 outlets and is enrolling users at the rate of tens of thousands per day. According to Daniel Eckert, Walmart’s services and digital acceleration senior vice president, about two-thirds of those who enroll end up using it again within a period of 21 days.
Per Richard Crone, the CEO of research firm Crone Consulting, the number of active Walmart Pay users in the United States will surpass those of Apple Pay before the end of next year. Active users are those who make a minimum of two transactions in one month.
Walmart doesn’t accept Apple Pay though Apple’s payments platform has been embraced by other mainstream retailers since it was rolled out three years ago. Some merchants have refused to accept Apple Pay because there is no tracking of transactions by individual consumers.
The Bentonville, Arkansas-based retail giant unveiled Walmart Pay in late 2015, which was over a year after Apple Pay had debuted. According to sources, after Walmart Pay debuted discussions were held between Apple and Walmart with a view to having Apple Pay integrated into the Walmart Pay app. The talks however ended without a deal mainly because of how difficult it could have been to blend the technology used in the two platforms.
Mobile payments market
Both Apple and Walmart are pursuing a mobile payments market that is worth approximately $49 billion and which has been slow to take off in the United States. The main concern of consumers is security and the ease of use since many find it just as easy and fast to whip out plastic cards. One advantage that Walmart Pay possesses over Apple Pay is adaptability.
“Apple Pay’s road is much more difficult than Wal-Mart’s is. It means that Wal-Mart can make quicker changes, they can move faster in many respects than Apple Pay,” said Brendan Miller, a Forrester Research analyst.
On Tuesday shares of Walmart Stores edged up by 0.27% to close the day at $88.95.