The US supermarket giant Walmart will not install Apple Pay, the company says, instead joining the ranks of retailers who have chosen to work with major competitor CurrentC.
Set to launch next month, Apple Pay has already forged partnerships with high profile banks and credit card companies as well as companies like McDonald’s, Disney and Macy’s. CurrentC, which has just been piloted and expects to roll out fully next year, has signed up 7-Eleven, Gap, Shell gas stations, Target and Southwest Airlines. Walmart’s extensive customer base will means that getting it on board is a major coup for CurrentC, who will be able to tap into the retailer’s hundreds of millions of weekly customers.
“There will be a dominant player to come out of CurrentC versus Apple. I’m not willing to handicap either one right now … you’ve got major players in CurrentC, you’ve got eight of the top banks and credit card issuers in Apple Pay,” said Michael Archer, a partner at retail consultancy Kurt Salmon Associates. “The interest level in the space is always going to be challenged if there are competing players. The opportunity, and maybe a need, for convergence is there.”
“Just because Apple is now responsible for us getting to this tipping point doesn’t mean Apple is necessarily going to win,” adds James Wester, research director of global payments at IDC Financial Insights. “But Apple is really good at user experience and has loyal customers. … That’s something you can’t discount.”
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