Target Ready to Fragment Mobile Payments More with its Own Platform

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Apple has Apple Pay, and Google (now Alphabet) has Android Pay. There's also Samsung Pay, CurrentC, Walmart's new Walmart Pay, and now it looks like Target is working on its own mobile payment system, too.

Target wants to launch its own in-store payment system in 2016Target wants to launch its own in-store payment system in 2016

Insider sources speaking with Reuters said Target is still in the early stages with its mobile payment system and hasn't started any in-store trials yet. Instead of using the NFC wireless technology built into iPhones and Android phones, Target is looking at using QR codes shoppers display on their smartphones, much like CurrentC and Walmart Pay.

CurrentC went into development before Apple Pay launched, but still hasn't come to market. Target and Walmart are still CurrentC partners, but decided to roll their own mobile payment platforms instead of doing without while they wait. CurrentC had hoped to be in stores already, but now is looking at a rollout some time in 2016.

Target plans to add its payment system to the already available Target app for iOS and Android, and will accept credit and debit cards—unlike CurrentC, which links directly to customer's bank accounts. Target is hoping to launch some time in 2016.

Walmart doesn't have any plans to support Apple Pay, but Target is keeping a more open mind. The retailer accepts Apple Pay for in-app online purchases and hasn't ruled out expanding to include in-store purchases at some point.

With CurrentC looking closer to the grave every day, it makes sense for its partners to look elsewhere for mobile payment solutions. Unfortunately, they seem to be drawn to systems that serve their own needs first instead of customers.

If you want to hear more about the fragmented mobile payment system, check out The Mac Observer's Daily Observations podcast. Dave Hamilton and Bryan Chaffin join Jeff Gamet to share what they think of the current state of mobile payment systems.

The Mac Observer Spin The Mac Observer Spin is how we show you what our authors think about a news story at quick glance. Read More →

We don't need a fragmenting of retail payment platforms. NFC is already here, and Apple Pay and Android Pay both support it. Retailer-specific payment systems are self-serving and don't make consumer's lives easier.

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Target is fragmenting their own checkout experience by putting their payment system into the Target app, but requiring a separate app (Cartwheel) for in-store discounts. So now two awkward scans of a phone screen will be necessary. Ugh.

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