Walmart rolls out convoluted Walmart Pay across U.S., continues to block Apple Pay

By SteveJack

Today, Walmart announced that Walmart Pay, an antiquated and convoluted QR code-based way for Walmart shoppers (http://www.peopleofwalmart.com) to check out with their smartphones (Android, most likely, of course; although it actually does also work with real iPhones even if most of the iPhones are over at the much better-smelling Target as usual), is now available in the more than 4,600 Walmart stores nationwide.

As opposed to Apple Pay, where a user breezes through checkout by simply double tapping their Apple Watch Side button or iPhone’s Home button and holding it near the reader for a second, Walmart’s rather time-consuming and, frankly, depressingly-stupid solution goes like this:

1. At the register, open the Walmart app and choose Walmart Pay.
2. Activate your device’s camera.
3. Scan the unique QR code displayed at the register.
4. Wait for Walmart Pay to confirm connection.
5. Wait for the Walmart cashier to scan and bag your items.
6. When the cashier finishes, an “eReceipt” will be sent to the app.
7. Don’t look back or the glares from the Walmart shoppers you’ve just delayed even further will bore holes straight through your skull.
8. Grab your bags of plastic Chinese crap and run for your life!

And, that’s it, you’re done! 🙂

Of course, Walmart has now access to all of your personal information. Credit/Debit card number(s). Address. Phone number(s). Everything you purchased. Ever. Etc. Surely they are safeguarding Walmart shoppers’ private information with the utmost security. (wink, wink)

In contrast, Apple Pay keeps customer payment information private from the retailer. Apple does not track usage. With Apple Pay, your card details are never shared when you use Apple Pay – in fact, they aren’t even stored on your device at all. Apple Pay is one of the safest and most private ways to pay in existence.

Walmart does not support Apple Pay ostensibly because they want to ensure that people with actual disposable income continue to shop elsewhere.

Bottom Line: Walmart Pay is convoluted, antiquated, cheeseball garbage. Perfect for Walmart!

SteveJack is a long-time Macintosh user, former web designer, multimedia producer and a regular contributor to the MacDailyNews Opinion section who also basically called the iPhone over five years before Steve Jobs unveiled it.

39 Comments

  1. MDN, please correct your article (fact-checking alert): double-press on home button is not necessary in order to use Apple Pay. That action will invoke your wallet whenever you want to open it, but if you are at a pen Apple Pay Point-of-Sale, and if the PoS is ready to accept payment, as soon as you bring your phone to the terminal device, your Wallet app will automatically open and the only action required is your fingerprint authentication.

    It would be literally impossible to reduce the number of steps necessary to pay at the PoS, regardless of what payment system is used: put your phone on the terminal, put your finger on the touchID sensor.

    Apple Pay is, without a doubt, and without challenge, the fastest, most convenient method for payment.

    1. ApplePay’s problem isn’t the user interaction flow or the tech. Those are fantastic. The issue is the retailers. I rarely can use it. Most clerks never heard of it. Apple has done a lousy job getting the work out to retailers. And often (with purchases over $50) I still have to show the stupid card.

  2. MDN Take 7reg;

    “With Apple Pay, your card details are never shared when you use Apple Pay – in fact, they aren’t even stored on your device at all.”

    I don’t understand this statement in the MDN Take ®. While your credit card information is not transferred as part of the transaction – a single-use token is generated instead – I thought that the credit card information is stored on your device in the secure enclave chip. Otherwise, how can you initiate a transaction??

    1. “Apple Pay is simple to use and works with the cards you already have on the devices you use every day. And because your card details are never shared when you use Apple Pay — in fact, they aren’t stored on your device at all — using Apple Pay on your iPhone, Apple Watch, or iPad is the safer and more private way to pay.”

      http://www.apple.com/apple-pay/

    2. No they’re not stored at all, the only time your card credentials are transmitted is when you turn your card on for use with Apple Pay. After that a random token is generated every time you use it, and if someone steals your phone they can’t get any card details from it. It is incredibly secure, and why I use it wherever it is accepted.

      1. I agree that your card information is not transmitted, but it is STORED on the iOS device.

        Take a look at the latest article on Apple Pay in Switzerland:

        “Card details are encrypted on the iPhone …”

        That was my point.

        1. No, the card into is not stored on the iOS device. You’re misunderstanding the complexity of the system. Page 33 of this document explains it:

          https://www.apple.com/business/docs/iOS_Security_Guide.pdf

          “Full card numbers are not stored on the device or on Apple servers. Instead, a unique Device Account Number is created, encrypted, and then stored in the Secure Element. This unique Device Account Number is encrypted in such a way that Apple can’t access it. The Device Account Number is unique and different from usual credit or debit card numbers, the card issuer can prevent its use on a magnetic stripe card, over the phone, or on websites. The Device Account Number in the Secure Element is isolated from iOS and WatchOS, is never stored on Apple servers, and is never backed up to iCloud.”

  3. If Steve Jack’s order of actions is correct, this is extremely scary. Can anyone on this site verify the order of the actions?

    My point: you have to verify with Walmart’s system that you’re going to pay BEFORE the cashier scans your items AND BEFORE you know the total bill. Then, if Steve Jack’s order of actions is correct, you have no point after the total is electronically deducted from your account to object to the total amount. It’s just automatically deducted when the cashier hits total.

    We’ve ALL had cashiers make mistakes and over charge us for items or double scan items (intentionally or accidentally). And what if the price scanned in is different from what was displayed on the rack? Seems the system as described above has no safeguard in it for the consumer to refuse to pay for bad pricing or actions at the checkout.

    Again, this is *IF* Steve Jack’s order of actions is in the right order and is complete.

  4. My better solution if I shopped at Walmart:
    1. Take out credit card.
    2. When prompted, insert card
    3. Remove card when prompted
    4. Sign

    Using a credit card is more convenient than their “solution”

  5. GhettoMart. Pass. Don’t forget, now they lock up face cream. Cause they don’t have adequate security in store to prevent theft, so you have to find a WalTard to unlock the cabinet. Pass, pass,pass….

  6. I was behind a person doing this, after a few minutes of it not working they realized there was a glare from the store lights hitting the QR code and the phone couldn’t detect it… After several attempts, two different workers being called over and 5+mins elapsing, the customer decided to just use her credit card…. Garbage lol

  7. I love Apple Pay. The only place I’ve ever been able to use it semi-reliably is Subway. There’s a grocery that seems to support it, but it often fails there. And I still have to show them the card for some reason, or give them a number that I don’t know about. And they then ask me to activate “the program”. Of course I know of know program. The reader activates whatever is supposed to happen, so I have nothing to show them, so they void the transaction and ask for a card. The McDonalds I go to has it sort of working in the store, but if you use the drive through, most of the time the clerks don’t know how to do it. They ask me to hand them the phone. I start to explain that it requires me to scan my fingerprint while using it. They ask if I have cash. Apple Pay is great in concept, but it just doesn’t work well. Apple hasn’t done the evangelism required to make it a success. They should be sending people to every store to get them training info, stickers and signage, etc. I look forward to it coming to the Web though. I think THAT will be great. There are sites I don’t buy from because I don’t want to enter my card info on another site. If they can just add Apple Pay, I’ll be set. The retail story is a mess.

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