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Wal-Mart rolls out new payment app in Maryland

Shot of the Wall Mart store in Hunt Valley. MF- D 10/22/04.

Shot of the Wal-Mart store in Hunt Valley. (Maximilian Franz)

Wal-Mart released a new mobile payment app for Maryland shoppers today.

The app, Wal-Mart Pay, allows customers to check out by simply using their phone camera to scan a picture of the cash register code, activating the app. The cashiers can then scan and bag the items, and the purchase is complete. The app works with all credit, debit, pre-paid or Walmart gift cards.

“Wal-Mart Pay is a powerful addition to our app, a tool that we’re using to transform the shopping experience by seamlessly connecting our online assets and our stores for customers,” said Daniel Eckert, senior vice president of services, in a press release.

The app is billed to be unique as Wal-Mart is now “the only retailer to offer its own payment solution that works with any iOS or Android device, at any checkout lane – all through the store’s app,” according to the press release.

Mobile payment is continuing to grow among shoppers – the amount of money spent through mobile payment nearly doubled from 2014 to 2015 and is projected to continue increasing every year, according to Fortune. Starbucks, Chipotle, Domino’s and Dunkin’ Donuts are just some of the few eateries that offer ordering and payment through their apps.

While some have speculated that Wal-Mart’s app would be competing with the likes of Apple Pay, PayPal and Android Pay, the main goals of the retail giant’s product is to improve customers’ shopping experiences, especially checking out, thus helping the stores compete with other retailers like Amazon and Target, officials said.

Wal-Mart Pay has been rolling out in various states across the country for the past two weeks. The  company will continue its tradition of not offering any kind of loyalty plan to its customers. The app will also not work for the WIC/SNAP food stamp programs.

Wal-Mart’s entrance into the mobile pay world will cause a stir if for no other reason than the company’s massive size. Each week, nearly 260 million customers and members visit the company’s 11,535 stores. Wal-Mart had revenue of $482.1 billion in the 2016 fiscal year and employs more than 2 million worldwide.