According to knowledgeable sources who spoke to Reuters, retailing giant Target Corp is working to develop its own mobile wallet, which would mean yet another deep-pocketed competitor in an already crowded mobile wallet sector that includes Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, PayPal and Wal-Mart (just announced this week).
Although Target has not announced an official launch date for its new mobile wallet, it is projected to launch in 2016, but it’s possible it could take longer to roll out, the sources noted.
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The sources also note that the retail firm’s management has already made a number of key decisions, including partnering up with credit card firms and working towards processing transactions using scanning technology that can communicate with payment terminals. That said, there will probably not be any testing in Target’s stores for a few months yet.
Target mobile wallet means competing with Apple Pay
Given that Target is among the list of retailers included in the Merchant Customer Exchange consortium backing the poorly performing CurrentC mobile wallet service. Industry analysts point out that news of Target developing its own mobile wallet service is probably more about the demise of CurrentC and less about the retailer’s future plans not to accept Apple Pay.
Walmart, who was another CurrentC backer that has resisted accepting Apple Pay in its stores to date, announced its own Walmart Pay mobile wallet service in November. Of note, several other early CurrentC consortium members (including Kohl’s, Best Buy, Chili’s, and Dunkin’ Donuts) have bitten the bullet and now accept Apple Pay payments in either their stores, iPhone and iPad apps, or both.
Target spokesperson Eddie Baeb noted on Friday that the retailer is still an active member of the Merchant Customer Exchange behind CurrentC, but that the firm is also exploring other mobile wallet solutions. Baeb would not answer questions about whether Target was currently developing its own mobile payment service.