'Walmart Pay' Is the Newest Mobile Payment Option

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This story originally appeared on Reuters

Wal-Mart Stores Inc said it would launch 'Walmart Pay,' to become the first U.S. retailer to offer its own payment feature to expand consumer payment options and increase the speed of checkouts.

Walmart Pay will be introduced in select U.S. stores on Thursday and in additional stores after the holiday season, Wal-Mart executives said on a video call with reporters on Wednesday.

The free service, integrated into the retailer's app, will be available nationwide by the first half of 2016, the executives said.

Walmart Pay will be available on devices using Apple's iOS or Alphabet Inc's Android operating system and allows payments with any major credit, debit, pre-paid or Walmart gift cards, the company said.

It will also allow for the integration of other payment options such as mobile wallets in the future.

The feature requires customers to choose Walmart Pay within the retailer's mobile app at a checkout counter, activate their phone camera and scan the code displayed at the register after which an e-receipt will be sent to the app.

The company is in talks with mobile wallet developers, Daniel Eckert, senior vice president of services for Walmart U.S., said on the call, but did not specify who the companies were.

Wal-Mart has been working with a consortium of retailers to develop a mobile wallet, called CurrentC, which was beta-launched in August, in a bid to rival Apple Inc's Apple Pay.

Wal-Mart said Walmart Pay was developed independently, but it continues to remain associated with CurrentC as a possible mobile wallet addition to Walmart Pay.

(Reporting by Sruthi Ramakrishnan in Bengaluru,)

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