Target is betting on in-app payments

As mobile payments struggle to reach widespread adoption, big-box retailer Target is jumping into the mobile payments market with its own digital wallet, hoping to tie in loyal store-branded card customers.

This week, Target launched Wallet, a bar code-based digital wallet that when enabled, lives within the Target app. It’s only open to Target REDcard credit and debit card customers, who already get a 5 percent discount on purchases. By integrating a digital version of the Target card into the app, it can apply offers and coupons at the point of sale — sweetening the offer for discount-hungry shoppers. Restricting the mobile payment feature to Target cards may seem backwards at the outset, especially given that Walmart offers a similar service compatible with any kind of card. But analysts say it serves important business objectives, which include driving up adoption of store-branded cards and creating a better customer experience by merging loyalty and payments into one place.

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