Bloomberg reports that Walmart Pay - a smartphone-based payment system developed by the retailer as an alternative to Apple Pay - “is close to surpassing Apple Pay in usage for mobile payments in the US … Some 5.1 percent of Wal-Mart shoppers said they used Walmart Pay in June, compared with 5.5 percent of iPhone users at stores that accept Apple Pay, which launched more than a year earlier, according to a survey by Pymnts.com and InfoScout. Walmart Pay’s rate of adoption is higher than Samsung Pay and Android Pay combined, the survey found.”

The story goes on: “Available in 4,774 stores, Walmart Pay is enrolling tens of thousands of new users a day, up from thousands four or five months ago, said Daniel Eckert, who runs the business. Two-thirds of the customers who try it also use it a second time within 21 days, he said, giving him confidence Walmart Pay will surpass Apple Pay in the U.S. in terms of use by shoppers in stores where they’re accepted.”

At current rates, Bloomberg writes, Walmart expects its payment system to pass Apple Pay in terms of active users sometime next year.

Bloomberg notes that “Wal-Mart is the biggest retailer rejecting Apple Pay, which requires merchants to have the right hardware at checkout. Since it rolled out in 2014, Apple has attracted retailers including Best Buy Co., Macy’s Inc. and Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. Apple doesn’t track individual consumers’ transactions, which makes some merchants reluctant to use it.”

KC's View: If one of the things that Walmart Pay allows the retailer to do is a better job of tracking consumer behavior - which then allows it to target specific consumers both in-store and via the various e-commerce initiatives it is developing with Jet - then this could end up being a powerful weapon.