Why Do The Walmart Product Managers Need Their Own Payment System?

by drjim on December 5, 2016

The Walmart product managers want to make it easier to give them money

The Walmart product managers want to make it easier to give them money

Image Credit: Mike Mozart

Hopefully everyone already knows that Walmart is a huge company. Just about every city in America of any significant size has a Walmart located in it. The Walmart product managers have a lot of different challenges that they have to worry about, but one that you may not have been aware of is the need to get people to give them more money. These product managers want to make it easier to buy things when you are at a Walmart. What’s their solution to this problem? There’s an app for that…!

The Walmart Mobile Payment App

Walmart wants to make it easier for you to pay them when you make a decision to buy from them. In order to make this happen, they are planning on changing their product development definition and offering their own way for their customers to pay for their purchases using their smartphones. Walmart already has a ″Walmart″ app. What the product managers are planning on doing is adding functionality to this app to allow it to be used to make in-store purchases.

The new service is going to be called Walmart Pay. The way that this is going to work is that the customer will download the app. Next they’ll load into the app any gift cards, debt cards, or credit cards that they would like to use to make purchases at Walmart with. Once this is done, their Walmart.com account will store all of this information. When the customer is at the checkout register, they’ll bring up the Walmart app and use its camera feature to scan a QR code that will be displayed at the register. This will then connect to the payment cards that are on file at Walmart.com.

The Walmart product managers clearly know their customers because they are planning on allowing customers to pay both with cash and by using the Walmart Pay app. The reason that the Walmart product managers decided to go to the effort of creating their own app that allows purchases was because existing applications didn’t meet their needs. Specifically, some apps only work with specific smartphones. Additionally, some only allow users to pay for their purchases with a select group of either credit cards or debit cards. If they can make their system a success, then they’ll have come up with something to add to their product manager resume.

Challenges Facing The Walmart Mobile Payment App

One of the challenges that is facing the Walmart product managers is that they are jumping into a crowded market. Other big companies such as Apple and others have already rolled out their own mobile-payment technologies. The Walmart solution is not scheduled to become available until the first half of next year.

Everyone seems to agree that there is a shift going on in the retail space. More and more consumers are starting to make a shift away from cash and credit cards. Other vendors have seen this trend also. These vendors include Apple, Samsung Electronics, and Google. Each one of these companies has already rolled out their own application to make this move easier. The retailer who has had the most success in this area is Starbucks who has used its loyalty card to create a payment application that allows its customers to pay with their phones.

In the past, the Walmart product managers have been slow to implement technology that will allow their shoppers to pay for purchases in their more than 4,600 stores. The reason that they’ve given for this hesitancy has been because in the past they have believed that they didn’t believe that many of their customers were hurrying to move away from credit and debit cards. However, clearly the initial success of the the other vendor’s mobile payment programs has changed their minds.

What All Of This Means For You

As product managers we can become comfortable in how we view the world and we often resist changing our views until we are forced to. The Walmart product managers had been ignoring the area of mobile payments; however, now they realize that their product manager job description is telling them that they need to move quickly. They are getting ready to launch their very own mobile payment app.

The Wallmart app, called Walmart Pay, will allow Walmart customers to use any mobile phone and any collection of both credit and debit cards. At the point of purchase customers will be permitted to pay for part of their purchase with cash and use Walmart Pay to pay for the rest. The Walmart product managers have seen Apple, Samsung, and Google successfully roll out their own mobile payment apps and they don’t want to get left behind.

In order for any mobile payment app to be successful, people have to use it. In order for Walmart Pay to be a success, the Walmart product managers will need to find ways to motivate their customers to start to use this new way to make purchases. If they can do this successfully, then they just might have a winner on their hands!

– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World Product Management Skills™

Question For You: In order to get customers to start to use Walmart Pay, do you thing the Walmart product managers are going to have to offer a discount on purchases made with it?

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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

For some odd and strange reason, each and every one of our customers is different from all of the others. What this means for us as product managers is that we often have to tweak our product offering in order to make our product appeal to a specific set of potential customers. If we do enough of this tweaking, then all of a sudden we’ll find ourselves with a broad product line that only sells a few units of some our tweaks. What’s a product manager to do now?

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