The Apple Zombies in the tech media must be seriously confused, because the usage of Walmart Pay is almost as high as the use of Apple Pay in the United States.

Around 6% of 58,000 customers surveyed by Forester Research said they used Walmart Pay, Bloomberg Technology reported. About 7% of the same group said they had used Apple Pay in the past three months. That means the adoption rate of the two apps is about the same.

The number of active Walmart Pay users will surpass the number of Apple Pay users sometime next year, Richard Crone; the CEO of Crone Consulting told Bloomberg Technology on 7 November. Walmart Senior Vice President for Services and Digital Acceleration Daniel Eckert thinks his company’s victory in the payment wars will come sooner than that.

“If daily enrollments don’t slow down, I think that’s pretty well in the cards shortly,” Eckert said of the potential victory. “I would have to imagine we are getting pretty close.”

Walmart Pay might be better than Apple Pay

Crone defines active users as persons who use a payment app at least twice a month. Interestingly enough Crone thinks Walmart (NYSE: WMT) is doing a better job of mobile payments than Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL).

“They flawlessly deployed the system, and it works,” Crone said of Walmart Pay. This seems to justify Walmart’s decision to use Quick Read (QR) Code as the basis of its system rather than Near Field Communications (NFC).

A QR Code app uses a phone’s camera to scan a code that appears on a screen enabling the transaction. NFC makes a direct wireless connection to the register, to make a transaction in the retailer’s payment system. QR Code makes the transaction in a separate system, which can provide a higher level of security.

One reason why Walmart is more successful is that adopted a proven technology that has been highly successful in China where Alipay, the world’s most successful payment app uses it. Alipay has an estimated 400 million to 450 million users; who are mostly located in China, according to Expanded Ramblings. That’s bad news for Apple because Ant Financial is now rolling out Alipay in the United States.

Walmart Pay’s rate of adoption now exceeds that both Android Pay and Samsung Pay, a Pymnts.com survey indicates. That might explain why Alphabet (NASDAQ: GOOGL) is experimenting with a different QR-code based mobile pay app called Tez in India.

Is Apple Losing the Payment Wars?

This indicates that Apple Pay might be losing the payment wars. Walmart might be ahead of it, and Alipay is poised to make a major push in the United States market. To make matters worse, Google might soon deploy Tez in the United States.

Interestingly enough, Apple and Walmart held talks on incorporating Apple Pay into Walmart Pay early in 2016, Bloomberg reported. That did not work out, which might have been a big mistake for Apple because Walmart is America’s largest retailer with 4,774 stores and $490.01 billion in revenues.

My prediction is that Apple will have to go back to the drawing board and add QR Code to Apple Pay. One reason Apple will do that is to get its app into Walmart stores. Walmart; like a number of major retailers including Kroger, CVS and Home Depot, is saying no to all NFC payment solutions.

Tech reporters will be confused by this, but they should not be. Most Americans do not use Apple products, they use Android, and most of them shop at Walmart on a regular basis. A large percentage of tech journalists probably think Walmart went out of business sometime last year, and do not know what Android is.

Perhaps some of them should get out of Brooklyn and San Francisco and spend some time in the rest of America. It might also be a good idea for a few of them to take a look at an Android phone occasionally. Statista estimated that there are around 106 million Android Phones in the United States so they are pretty easy to find.

Android Pay coming To Brazil and Czech Republic

Speaking of Android Pay it is apparently scheduled to roll out in Brazil during the week of November 13, Android Police reported. That will make it the first payment app in South America. Android Pay is also scheduled to roll out in another European country; the Czech Republic on 14 November.

 

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