Walmart Pay undergoes big growth spurt
Walmart did not reach its stated goal of rolling out the Walmart Pay digital payment service to every store by the end of June, but it certainly made a lot of headway.
During the week of June 27, the discount giant rolled out Walmart Pay at close to 1,300 stores in 19 new states – Arizona, California, New Mexico, Colorado, Ohio, Washington, Idaho, Oregon, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont. With these additions, Walmart now offers Walmart Pay at about 3,700 stores in 37 states and Washington, D.C.
The retailer initially announced the digital wallet service, which works through the Walmart mobile shopping app, in December 2015. Formal rollout started in Texas and Arkansas in May 2015.
The service works by customers selecting the Walmart Pay option on the retailer’s mobile app at checkout and activating their smartphone camera. They then scan the code displayed at the register to connect Walmart Pay. When the transaction is complete, an e-receipt is sent to the app, which the customer can view at any time.
Walmart has stated it will still accept other forms of mobile and digital payment in its stores besides Walmart Pay. However, it is likely to increase downloads and utilization of the retailer’s mobile app. With 22 million active app users, Walmart Pay has a huge built-in potential consumer base.
In addition, Walmart’s decision to launch its own digital payment service was likely a major contributor to the recent demise of the retailer-backed CurrentC mobile payment app. Walmart had been a member of the Merchant Commerce Exchange (MCX), which supported CurrentC.
Starbucks has long offered its own mobile payment app and Target is reportedly developing a proprietary mobile payment feature. These types of retailer-specific offerings will cut somewhat into the revenues of general mobile payment platforms like Apple Pay, Android Pay. However, there are a finite number of payment apps consumers are willing to download, meaning only the largest Tier I retailers will have success with them.
New York grocer reaches out to customers
With 15 regional stores, New York-based Fairway Market needs to compete with larger rivals on quality of experience.
To that end, Fairway has deployed the omnichannel retail platform from Index to help better communicate with customers and provide an optimal experience across various touchpoints. The platform includes secure in-store payment solutions that offer processing flexibility and are compliant with EMV and P2PE protocols. Fairway can also accept a variety of tender types, including Apple Pay and Android Pay.
The retailer is also able to use customer payment cards as unique identifiers and captures line-item data to build an account for every shopper, unified across stores and online. Leveraging this unified customer database and intelligent Index algorithms, Fairway can measure same-customer sales and deliver personalized experiences across channels.
Additionally, Index software seamlessly enables customers to opt-in for e-receipts, loyalty and personalized marketing directly on the PIN pad at checkout.
“Since implementation, Index has supplied a secure transmission of data and reduced our gateway cost by 35%,” said Maureen Minard, CIO of Fairway Market. “Having the ability to reach our customers in a new way will move us towards increased customer interaction.”
Especially considering Fairway recently came out of Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, the retailer needs to obtain every competitive edge it can. A 15-store chain will never be able to consistently offer the lowest prices or best assortment, but can offer customers a highly personalized, convenient and seamless shopping experience.
Investment, interest in energy efficiency at all-time high
That’s one of the key findings of The 2016 Johnson Controls Energy Efficiency Indicator (EEI) survey of more than 1,200 facility and energy management executives.
Fifty percent of survey respondents say that their organizations are paying more attention to energy efficiency today than they did a year ago, and 72% anticipate increased investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy over the next 12 months. By comparison, 37% of global respondents in 2013 reported paying more attention to energy efficiency and 42% planned to increase investments.
Cost reduction remains the primary driver of energy efficiency. But organizations are also increasingly considering energy security, customer and employee attraction, greenhouse gas reduction, enhanced reputation, government policy and investor expectations when making investment decisions. Survey results show that 64% of U.S. organizations now have an internal or publicly stated carbon reduction goal, up from 41% in 2013.
Additional key findings that emerged from the survey include:
• The most frequent energy efficiency measures implemented last year were HVAC improvements, energy education programs, building controls upgrades, building systems integration, on-site renewable energy and water efficiency improvements.
• Forty-two percent of organizations are willing to pay a premium to lease space in a certified green building versus 15% in 2013. And 37% of global organizations build out their leased space to high-performance standards versus 18% in 2013.
• Eighty percent of organizations plan to achieve nearly zero, net zero or positive energy status for at least one of their facilities versus 49% in 2013.
• Resilience is becoming an important driver, with 82% of organizations reporting the ability to maintain critical operations during severe weather events or extended power outages is very or extremely important when considering future infrastructure investments.
• Sixty-four percent of organizations in urban areas have invested in building management systems, and more than 50% have invested in the integration of building management systems with lighting, security, life safety or other building systems. In addition, 39% have invested in on-site renewable energy and 24% in non-renewable distributed generation. These organizations are also more likely to invest in energy storage and demand response technology.
Similar to past results, respondents report lack of funding, insufficient payback, savings uncertainty and a lack of technical expertise as the most significant barriers to investment.