American retail chain Target is said to be developing its own mobile payment service that would compete with Apple Pay, according to the latest Reuters report this morning. Target’s mobile wallet service is described as being in the early stages of development with a possible launch possibly planned for sometime next year. Like other retailer-specific mobile wallets, Target’s mobile wallet would let customers pay for goods through a smartphone app.
While Target is certainly no stranger to Apple, with all the Apple Watch and iPad sales headlining during Black Friday this year, the retailer has resisted accepting Apple Pay for purchases in its stores since Apple’s wallet service launch in October 2014. Target has, however, made Apple Pay checkout through its app available for online orders since day one.
Target CEO Brian C. Cornell has even been open to the idea of introducing Apple Pay for in-store purchases in the near future, although during a Recode conference interview this year the executive importance of first rolling out chip-and-pin support for more secure debit and credit cards that are now growing common in the United States, then revisiting Apple Pay in stores after the holiday shopping season. Both chip-in-pin and contactless payment support is critical for Target which was hit with a massive security breach in 2013, which prompted the retailer to promote the use of paper checks (of all things) at checkout.
Notably, Target is among the list of retailers included in the Merchant Customer Exchange consortium, a band of retailers behind the arguably-failed CurrentC mobile wallet service. News of Target developing its own mobile wallet service likely says more about the demise of CurrentC and less about future plans not to accept Apple Pay in stores next year based on Cornell’s past comments.
Walmart, another early CurrentC backer that has so far resisted accepting Apple Pay in its stores, recently officially announced its own Walmart Pay mobile wallet service. Several other early CurrentC backers including Kohl’s, Best Buy, Chili’s, and Dunkin’ Donuts have adopted Apple Pay payments in either their stores, iPhone and iPad apps, or both.