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posted by cmn32480 on Friday December 11 2015, @08:09PM   Printer-friendly
from the a-win-for-the-little-guy....or-not dept.

Wal-Mart has launched its own smartphone app for processing payments, rather than adding support for systems being touted by the likes of Samsung, Apple, and Google (Wallet):

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. launched its own mobile payment system, dubbed Walmart Pay, in select stores near its Bentonville, Ark., headquarters on Thursday, giving customers their first opportunity to use a mobile payment system in its stores.

The retailing giant so far hasn't allowed other mobile payment platforms, including Samsung Pay or Apple Pay. Instead, it built its own system, which it said works with any iOS or Android device that can support the Walmart app and at any checkout lane, including self-service checkout.

Walmart Pay can handle major credit, debit, pre-paid and Walmart gift cards. The company is in discussions that could result in other mobile wallets being added to Walmart Pay, said Daniel Eckert, senior vice president of services for Walmart U.S.

Wal-Mart is part of a consortium called the Merchant Customer Exchange that includes Target Corp. and Best Buy Co. Inc. The MCX is working on an app called CurrentC that is still in the pilot phase in Columbus, Ohio. Members of the Merchant Customer Exchange pledged not to accept other mobile payment systems, according to The Wall Street Journal. That exclusivity was temporary and expired in August, a Walmart spokesperson said, freeing members to allow other mobile wallet transactions.

Wal-Mart plans to roll out Walmart Pay nationally after the first half of next year.


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  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Marand on Friday December 11 2015, @09:43PM

    by Marand (1081) on Friday December 11 2015, @09:43PM (#275160) Journal

    I'm not sure anyone is getting rich on these payment apps other than the same credit card clearing houses that were doing to all along.
    Because, in the end, these all get tied back to a credit card (or direct draw on a bank account) somewhere somehow.

    Some of the rush to develop these apps is based on dreams of siphoning off a quarter percent of the total transaction, but that seldom works in practice, and all the payment apps I've seen end up just feeding the credit card companies.

    I think in this case, Walmart is just using it as another carrot, trying to lure more people into downloading and using its mobile app. The app already wants a slew of permissions on Android, from account/identity information to precise location, read/write media storage access, camera access, full network control, prevent sleep, vibration control, "read Google service configuration", etc. Some of it is legitimate for end-user purposes, sure (like the camera for barcode scanning), but it's also basically a data siphoning app that helps them profile you, advertise, and know everything about you.

    I've already seen it pushed pretty hard as an alterantive to those perpetually-broken barcode scanners strewn througout the store; making it usable for payment, too, just helps entice people into installing it. Any payment-app profit they get off of it is likely just icing on top of the data-collecting cake.

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  • (Score: 2) by Nerdfest on Friday December 11 2015, @10:16PM

    by Nerdfest (80) on Friday December 11 2015, @10:16PM (#275181)

    If it works with a rooted device, I might use it. Android pay is kind of dickish that way.

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by frojack on Saturday December 12 2015, @12:18AM

      by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Saturday December 12 2015, @12:18AM (#275236) Journal

      If it works with a rooted device, I might use it. Android pay is kind of dickish that way.

      Dickish seems a tad harsh. Protective, careful, not wanting to be sued, etc.

      Not everybody even knows they are rooted.
      Your brother, or ex, might root your phone for you without your knowledge just cuz he can.

      After all not everybody is going to run the McDonalds app or the Walmart app., but everybody on android is going to run, well, android. A hole in android could be pretty bad. Once rooted a whole bunch of protections are gone.

      Malware can easily breach your mobile security. Gaining root access also entails circumventing the security restrictions put in place by the Android operating system. Which means worms, viruses, spyware and Trojans can infect the rooted Android software. There are several ways these types of malware get on your phone: drive-by downloads, malicious links, infected apps you download from not so reputable app stores. They can take over your phone and make it act behind your back: forward your contact list to cybercrooks, sniff your e-mails, send text messages, and collect personal data such as passwords, usernames, credit card details that you use from your smartphone.
       

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      • (Score: 2) by Nerdfest on Saturday December 12 2015, @02:05AM

        by Nerdfest (80) on Saturday December 12 2015, @02:05AM (#275259)

        Even Apple, control-freak masters don't care if their phone is jailbroken for Apple pay. About half the people I know root their phones. Amazingly, banks and credit card companies let you connect to their sites with Windows computers, and worse, ones where the user is logged in as admin. Somehow, these devices running even more secure operating systems require more restrictions. Its dickish on somebody's part.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 12 2015, @02:31AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 12 2015, @02:31AM (#275267)

          Or... They recognize that not allowing people to log in from their PC is a total non-starter because everybody has a PC so they have to support that. While requiring that your phone not be rooted will only affect a tiny fraction of android users so they decided that the security improvement was worth frustrating such a tiny number of users.