Walmart wants you to pay through its mobile app

Walmart Pay speeds up your checkout on any smartphone, using any card.

Never mind Android Pay and Apple Pay -- Walmart would rather you use its own mobile payment service. It's launching Walmart Pay (how creative!), a payment system that has you scanning QR codes within its app to make purchases. It's not the most elegant method as a result, but the upshot is an approach that works on most phones, in any checkout lane, with any major payment card you have. And despite what it looks like, Walmart swears that this isn't meant to muscle out other mobile payment services -- they could be integrated "in the future."

The service does promise to be more friendly and is thankfully separate from CurrentC, but it's also clear that Walmart has a vested interest in steering you toward its own app. Unlike the platform-specific tap-to-pay services, Walmart doesn't have to pay a small fee to someone else every time you make a purchase. Also, this gives the big-box store access to shopping information that it wouldn't otherwise have (to "improve the customer experience," it tells us). Think of this as a half-step toward the future: Walmart may be embracing phone-based payments, but only on its own terms.