While Walmart may be anti-Apple Pay in the United States, its U.K. subsidiary Asda doesn’t seem to mind giving it a try. The U.K. supermarket chain is testing acceptance of Apple’s contactless payments solution in some of its stores.
The technology trial is taking place in “a few” locations, Asda said on Twitter, without specifying which ones. People messaging its support account suggested that Apple Pay is available in at least two stores — one in Ferring, England and the second in Aberdeen, Scotland.
No word on when Asda might attempt a wider rollout of Apple Pay to all of its stores, although reports suggest it could happen as soon as the end of the year. We’ve seen a number of retailers here in the U.S. announce plans to accept the payments solution, and then take over a year to fulfil their promises. (“Forever 21? More like Forever Waiting for Apple Pay!)
Asda parent Walmart still refuses to turn on Apple Pay compatibility in its U.S stores, instead opting for their own home-grown solution “Walmart Pay, an QR Code-based system which takes a number of extra steps to complete a transaction, compared to Apple Pay or other NFC-based payment solutions.
There is hope for users of NFC-based payments schemes, as Walmart senior vice president of services Daniel Eckert said last year that Walmart Pay allows “for integration of other mobile wallets in the future.” (although that sounds as if it would simply add another step or two onto an already cumbersome payment process…)