Target knows what it wants for Christmas: its very own mobile wallet. Reuters reports that the big-box retailer is developing its own mobile wallet, which could feasibly compete with offerings from Apple, Android, and Samsung–as well as the recently announced Walmart Pay. No time frame has been attached to the project, which is believed to still be in early stages.
According to Reuters, the payment system will reportedly use “scanning technology” that uses QR codes, rather than the NFC bump model employed by Apple Pay and similar products. Retailers like Walmart and Target likely prefer proprietary in-house systems for two reasons: They can save on processing fees for credit card transactions, which stores would otherwise have to absorb, and they gain deeper insight into consumer behavior.
But Target may face challenges in rolling out a mobile wallet, even if it’s just a matter of optics: A 2013 hack led to criminals obtaining the credit card numbers and personal information of tens of millions of Target customers. And last week, the company found itself back in the news due to a security flaw in its mobile app.
Target’s decision to launch its own payment app is also one more piece of bad news for CurrentC, an erstwhile Apple Pay and Android Pay rival backed by Walmart and Target, among others. CurrentC’s release date has been rolled back repeatedly as backers have opted to create their own proprietary products instead.
The next year should see continued developments in the payments space: On Thursday, Apple and Samsung formally announced they are entering the Chinese market in 2016.