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Target to Debut Own Mobile Pay

Target Corp. is introducing its own mobile payment service in its U.S. stores later this year, Reuters reported.

The service, according to tech website Recode, will be added to “one or more” of the Minneapolis-based mass merchandiser's mobile apps, although it's not clear whether it will become a feature on Target's namesake app, its Cartwheel app or both. It will, however, be available, “at least initially,” only to Target Redcard holders. Target, which operates 1,803 U.S. stores, currently uses Apple Pay, but only for mobile orders.

News of the launch followed the debut of Walmart Pay by Target's Bentonville, Ark.-based rival, a little more than a year ago. Walmart's app, described by its parent as “a fast, easy and secure way for customers to pay with their smartphones in Walmart stores,” is an answer to Apple Pay and other mobile payment systems, although it also sports a few unique features, including usability with both iOS and Android devices, at any checkout lane, and with any major credit, major debit, pre-paid or Walmart gift card.

Recode added that both Walmart and Target – along with Menomenee Falls. Wis.-based department store chain Kohl's, which also has its own Kohl's Pay app – had originally supported CurrentC, a third-party mobile payment app developed by Merchant Customer Exchange, a Waltham, Mass.-based retailer consortium, in 2012. However, security issues and rival payment apps have caused that solution to fall short of success.

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