Why Doesn't Walmart Have Tap to Pay? | Checkout Conundrum

In an era of rapidly evolving payment methods and digital advancements, tap-to-pay technology has become increasingly popular among consumers. Many major retailers have embraced this contactless payment method, enabling customers to make quick and secure transactions with a simple tap of their card or mobile device. However, one prominent retail giant, Walmart, has notably refrained from implementing tap-to-pay technology at its checkout counters.
Walmart doesn't have tap to pay at its checkout counters primarily due to its commitment to low-cost payment solutions, its investment in its proprietary payment platform (Walmart Pay), and the challenges of upgrading legacy systems and educating consumers about the technology. In this article, we explore the reasons behind Walmart's decision not to adopt tap-to-pay and the potential implications of this choice.

Focus on Low-Cost Payment Solutions

One of the primary reasons Walmart does not have tap to pay is its commitment to keeping costs low for both the company and its customers. Tap-to-pay systems typically require the installation of near field communication (NFC) technology at the checkout counters. While the initial cost of implementing this technology might not be exorbitant, it can add up significantly when considering Walmart's vast network of stores. By forgoing tap to pay, Walmart can continue to rely on traditional card-based payment methods, which are more cost-effective to maintain.

Investment in Proprietary Payment Solutions

Instead of adopting existing tap-to-pay systems, Walmart has invested in developing its proprietary payment solution, Walmart Pay. Launched in 2015, Walmart Pay enables customers to make purchases using the Walmart mobile app. This approach allows Walmart to have more control over the payment process, collect valuable consumer data, and offer exclusive discounts and promotions to app users. By focusing on its own payment platform, Walmart can tailor the experience to align with its overall retail strategy.

Legacy Systems and Infrastructure

Walmart's extensive presence and the sheer scale of its operations mean that implementing new payment technologies across all its stores is a significant undertaking. Many Walmart stores may still rely on legacy point-of-sale systems that are not equipped to handle tap-to-pay transactions. Updating and retrofitting these systems can be a time-consuming and costly process. Until it is economically viable to upgrade all stores, Walmart may choose to stick with existing payment methods.

Consumer Adoption and Education

While tap-to-pay has gained popularity, some consumers remain hesitant to adopt new payment methods due to concerns about security or unfamiliarity with the technology. Walmart, being a retailer catering to a wide range of demographics, might be cautious about introducing a payment method that not all of its customers are comfortable using. By continuing to offer traditional payment options, Walmart ensures that customers have familiar and reliable ways to pay for their purchases.


Walmart's decision not to have tap to pay at its checkout counters stems from a combination of factors, including a focus on cost-effective solutions, investment in its proprietary payment platform, legacy systems, and consideration for customer preferences. While tap-to-pay technology continues to gain traction in the retail landscape, Walmart's approach underscores its commitment to providing a seamless and secure shopping experience while maintaining control over its payment ecosystem. As the payments landscape evolves, Walmart's stance on tap to pay might evolve too, influenced by customer demand and technological advancements.

Header image source: Visa.com

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