Wal-Mart says its new Walmart Pay app can be downloaded onto any smartphone.

Checkout using Walmart Pay

it happens in three steps:

1. Open: Visit any register, open the Walmart app and choose Walmart Pay. Activate the camera.

2. Scan: At any time during checkout, simply scan the code displayed at the register. Walmart Pay is now connected.

3. Done: Associate scans and bags the items — and it’s done. An eReceipt will be sent to the app and can be viewed at any time.

Source: Wal-Mart


This week, Wal-Mart rolled out its new Walmart Pay, which the retail giant describes as "a fast, easy and secure way for customers to pay with their smartphones" in each of the more than 135 Wal-Mart stores in Tennessee, including 16 superstores and six Neighborhood Market outlets in the Chattanooga area.

"It makes the checkout process easier," Wal-Mart spokeswoman Anne Hatfield said.

To make the app work, customers use their smartphones to scan a QR code displayed at the register.

"It works with any smartphone, if your smartphone can download an app, you can use it," Hatfield said. "We are the first retailer to design a system where you can use any smartphone."

The app should have a large base of potential users. More than 20 million customers already use the existing Wal-Mart shopping app each month, Wal-Mart says, and it ranks among the top three retail apps in the Google and Apple app stores.

Forty-six percent of U.S. consumers — or about 114 million adults — report they have made a mobile payment on their smartphone, according to a recent survey by the Pew Charitable Trusts.

Nearly seven in 10 U.S. adults own a smartphone, the survey found, and age is the best predictor of mobile payments use, with 72 percent of users being genXers, and millenials, or those born roughly between 1981 and 2000.

The Pew Charitable Trusts got interested in smartphone payments partly out of concern for the 37 million U.S. adults who are "unbanked," or without a bank account.

"We have 37 million adults in the country that don't have a bank account," Susan Weinstock, a director at the nonprofit organization. "The majority of these folks have a smartphone. This is often their only internet access."

Starbucks made headlines after the Wall Street Journal reported recently that consumers had loaded $1.2 billion onto Starbucks cards and the Starbucks mobile app — which meant the Seattle-based coffee shop chain had more money deposited than many banks have.

But Wal-Mart customers don't have to pre-load money, Hatfield said, to make the app work. They can link to the app to any debit, credit card or Wal-Mart gift card.

"You load whatever card you want to use," she said. "You can load several cards."

That credit card information isn't stored on the phone, Hatfield said, and users create their own four-digit pin to access the app.

"That's just another level of security," she said.

People who use the Walmart Pay app get an E-receipt with every purchase, Hatfield said, which makes returns easier. Other features include checking in to pick up an online order at a Walmart store, refilling pharmacy prescriptions and finding an item's store location.

"The goal is to make a seamless shopping experience," she said.

Contact staff writer Tim Omarzu at or or or 423-757-6651.