Tag Archive | Walmart

Walmart Sets Sites on Easing Shopping Burdens for Millions of Underbanked Consumers

Walmart has long been known as a retail outlet that offers great prices on millions of different items. The low prices on goods that this company offers surely helps to make shopping easier for consumers from all walks of life. Now, though, Walmart has launched a new mobile payment system that may well prove to make shopping even easier for the underbanked consumers in the United States. This new mobile payment system is called Walmart Pay, and it may help to make the world’s most popular store even more popular. And more than that, Walmart Pay may help the company to edge out the popular Apple Pay payment system, due to the fact that Walmart is refusing to accept Apple Pay in any of its locations.300px-2008-08-28_Black_Friday_shoppers_at_Wal-Mart

Walmart’s senior vice president, Daniel Eckert – the guy responsible for all of the retail giant’s financial services – is also making moves to entice the people he describes as “cash customers” via Walmart Pay. Cash customers are also known as unbanked and underbanked consumers. These folks make up nearly 28 percent of all consumers in the United States, according to data that was recently released by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp (FDIC.)

Walmart figures that by enticing the cash customers, they will be targeting roughly 40 million shoppers. Some of these people really don’t have a bank account at all, while others rely on alternative financial services on a regular basis. Walmart has already been known for offering its reloadable prepaid cards, the popular MoneyCards that have been available for some time. This product was offered via a joint effort between Walmart and Green Dot. Now, people can add these types of prepaid cards to their Walmart Pay online wallets, instead of linking the cards to traditional debit/credit cards or bank accounts.

Eckert said, “In the context of mobile payments, the existing wallet solutions out there limit customers as they work on the latest and greatest hardware and devices, and with credit and debit cards. We needed to find a different way.” Eckert went on to state that Walmart regulars are “over-indexed” with regards to the adoption of smartphone usage. There may be 28 percent of those folks without traditional bank account access, but 75 percent are routine smartphone users. These people often use their cell phones to receive money and send money via texting services.

Walmart Pay is operable with all Android and iOS devices, even as far back as the earliest generation of iPhones from Apple. Eckert said, “We’re the only retailer to offer a mobile wallet that gives that much access,” obviously very proud of this new initiative by his company. This mobile wallet will be rolled out soon. It starts its pilot in Northwest Arkansas, near stores that are close to the Walmart home base of operations in Bentonville.

Walmart’s endeavor into the mobile payment game comes with the relatively new form of technology rapidly gaining ground with American consumers. Some experts have forecasted that the total value of mobile payments in the United States will increase by roughly 210 percent in 2016. By the time 2017 rolls around, data indicates that about 50 percent of Americans will be routinely making payments with their smartphones and other mobile devices. Walmart may not always be the first company to come to mind when you think about the technological “cutting edge”, however with the introduction of Walmart Pay, it looks like the retail company is on the fast track to the future of mobile payment offerings.

Is Black Friday Becoming Black Thursday?

We all know about Black Friday.

English: Black Friday shoppers in the morning ...

It is the one day a year most of us are willing to get up early and fight large crowds, and in some places cold, to get great deals on items we want for the holidays.  Over the years stores have started to open earlier and earlier to compete with other stores to bring customers to their store first.  It finally got to the point where many stores are opening on Thursday to compete for Black Friday customers.

There are some people who love this.  They can begin their Black Friday shopping Thursday night after they are done spending time with their family.  Then they will be done sooner, and can go home early in the morning on Friday to go to bed, instead of having to get up really early on Friday morning.  They feel this is more efficient for them.

Yet there are some who are totally against this.  They feel that stores should not be open on a holiday as people should be with their families and even when they are done it is still a holiday and thus the store should be closed.  Many of these people will wait until it is actually Black Friday to go shopping for good deals.  The only problem with this though, is that what they are looking for may be sold out.

Since the large increase in the number of stores that are opening on Thanksgiving Day, some are wondering if Black Friday has become Black Thursday.  Will we reach a point where the stores are open most of the day on Thanksgiving?  Will they start opening at noon?  Will they open at their regular time in the morning?  Will there no longer be a Black Friday and in place have a Black Thursday?  These are questions that people have.

It does seem as though it is a direction that the stores may be headed in.  The stores want to make money by having these huge sales that bring the customers in.  Customers want to save money by going to these huge sales that the stores have.  Each year the every store does what it can to make the sale seem more exciting, more interesting, and to make the customers feel as though the need to be there for the door busting deals that they will be offering.  This brings the customers in no matter when they open.  So will we be telling the next generation that instead of Black Thursday we used to have Black Friday?