Exclusive: Target in initial development of own mobile wallet - sources

Fri Dec 18, 2015 3:13pm EST
 
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By Nandita Bose

(Reuters) - Target Corp is in the early stages of developing its own mobile wallet, three people familiar with the matter said, joining Wal-Mart Stores Inc in posing a threat to recent entrants like Apple Pay.

The fourth-largest U.S. retailer has not committed to launch the product, which would allow customers to pay for goods using an app on their mobile phones. The mobile wallet could launch as early as next year, but it is too early to predict, said two of the sources, who requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.

Target's team has made some decisions, including to partner with credit card companies, and they are in favor of processing transactions using scanning technology to communicate with payment terminals, the two sources said.

However, Target has not tested the wallet in its stores so far, said the third source, who was not authorized to disclose the details.

Target's entry would create a powerful new competitor in a small, crowded market, challenging Apple Inc's Apple Pay, Alphabet Inc's Android Pay and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd's Samsung Pay.

Target's move also would raise new questions about the viability of a plan by a number of retailers, including Target and Wal-Mart, to create a joint mobile wallet, called CurrentC.

Target spokesman Eddie Baeb said on Friday the retailer is testing CurrentC, which is being developed by the Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX), in a few stores but it is also exploring additional mobile wallet solutions. He declined to comment on whether Target was developing its own mobile payment service.

"Target is a participant of the MCX and we are testing its CurrentC mobile wallet with guests as part of a pilot in Columbus, Ohio," Baeb said.   Continued...

 
The sign outside the Target store is seen in Arvada, Colorado in this January 10, 2014 file photo.  REUTERS/Rick Wilking/Files