Looks like consumers will have another mobile wallet option to choose from when shopping at Target. The big-box retailer announced this week that it will launch its own mobile payment system later this year, giving customers the ability to pay for purchases with the swipe of their phones. Recode reports it's unclear if Target will add the payment feature to its main app, its popular Cartwheel coupon app or both. The retailer also stated that the mobile payment feature will only be available to those with a Target REDcard — "at least initially."
Total Retail's Take: It's no longer the year of mobile; that was 2016 (and possibly the three years before that as well). Brands are thinking mobile-first in all aspects of retailing. While mobile payments are still slowly catching on, it seems retailers are betting that they will at some point go mainstream, and they want to be ready for when that time comes. In addition to Apple, with its ubiquitous Apple Pay, Kohl's, Wal-Mart and CVS have all followed with their own mobile payments systems. I find this to be a smart move on Target's part, especially treating the mobile payment option as a loyalty perk at first by only offering it to REDcard holders. However, the most important step is the execution. If it's not a seamless, easy way to check out, customers won't use it — even Target's most loyal customers.