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US retailers embrace payment apps to sidestep US$90bil in swipe fees


Retailers are trying to persuade customers to embrace the mobile payment technology by dangling discounts and other perks. The Walmart Pay app is packed with savings tools and makes it easier to return merchandise. — Walmart/AP

Retailers are trying to persuade customers to embrace the mobile payment technology by dangling discounts and other perks. The Walmart Pay app is packed with savings tools and makes it easier to return merchandise. — Walmart/AP

US retailers have been trying for years to escape the clutches of the credit-card companies, which this year will levy more than US$90bil (RM375.70bil) in swipe fees on an industry already struggling to navigate the shift online. Some believe the answer lies in payment apps. 

While shoppers have largely shunned mobile payments offered by third-party providers like Apple Inc, retailers are trying to persuade customers to embrace the technology by dangling discounts and other perks. Several chains, including Walmart Inc, Starbucks Corp and Kohl’s Corp, have had some success by baking the apps into their loyalty programmes – and more than half of companies surveyed recently by the National Retail Federation said they’ve implemented “branded digital wallets” or are considering it. 

   

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