theSync: How WalMart is Trying to Kill Wireless Payments

Your boy is back from MoDevWear 2014! This year’s MoDevWear featured a high tech fashion where high tech, wearable devices, and fashionistas collided to make some new hotness. And now, back to previously schedule programming.

Unless you were living under a rock, Apple released its thumbprint protected payment system, Apple Pay, to iPhone 6 users. Awesome, right! Unfortunately, not everyone is thrilled with this new development. Wal-Mart, CVS, Rite-Aid, and others have announced that they will not be accepting Apple Pay at their outlets. Futhermore, they’ve flat out stated their intent to kill wireless payments by disabling Google Wallet and SoftCard at the POS terminals.

The reason for this is simple, money!

Visa, MasterCard, and the one you can’t leave home without make their money by charging retailers a fee for each credit card transaction they process. No one wants to pay these fees, not even myself. So, Wal-Mart, CVS, and Rite-Aid are in the process of launching their own payment initiative, CurrenC. CurrenC is driven by a smartphone app that’s connected to your plain old bank account. It encodes transaction processing magic by creating a QR-code customized to yourself, and your bank account. When it comes time to pay, fire up the CurrenC app and your specialized QR will be displayed on the screen. Waive it front of a POS terminal hooked up to a 2D imaging scanner and tralla, you’ve just paid for your stuff.

This should sound familiar. Starbucks has been linking a QR-code to a credit card or bank account for the last couple of years.

I like this as a payment solution.

I’ve always liked how Starbucks’ streamlined and plastic-less checkout experience with their in-app purchasing scheme. These QR codes can be regenerated in case the bad guys take a picture of your screen.

What I don’t like, is how Wal-Mart and their ilk attempt to choke off innovation by not offering wireless payments. Everyone who is anyone knows that plastic-less and cashless payments are the future. And that the winners who can push their tech and processes stand to make trillions. That’s TRILLION with a ‘T’. Google, Apple, Micro$oft, Wal-Mart, and others are all scrambling to make their tech way the highway.

I understand that retailers don’t want to pay these fees. We pay thousands in these fees a year for the sales of our products. I get it.

I just think that instead of giving your customers options to pay for the crap you advertise to them and forcing them to download an app-standard that isn’t part of your business know-how is anti-customer and shitty behavior on the those who make billions. How many billions in profit are enough? You stand to make even more money as these wireless payment systems help separate consumers from their money with greater speed.

And…let’s not forget. Wal-Mart has done this before, killed a standard. Does anyone remember HD-DVD?

Please let me know what you think about Wal-Mart’s payment plans here. Also, please share theSync with your friends and subscribe using iTunes. Or, download our app from the Google Play store.

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