Last week, Walmart introduced a new payment feature that may bring more traffic to its site. This new feature allows shoppers to purchase items sold exclusively online and pay for them in-store with cash. The site details that customers simply purchase the item, print out their order number, visit their local Walmart and then go through the checkout line like normal. The associate then rings up the purchase and as soon as the customer pays for the purchase, the purchase is complete and the item is shipped. Customers also have the choice to have it shipped to their local Walmart (for free) or directly to their home (for a flat shipping and handling charge).
Although this may seem counterintuitive as cash spending decreases (a report recently found 43% of Americans have gone a week without paying with cash for purchases), 7.7% of American households are unbanked. This means 9 million households don’t have access to a checking account or a debit card. Walmart already caters to this group with its flat rate check cashing services, and the addition of the Pay With Cash feature further serves their customer base. Although Walmart has gotten a lot of negative press in the past, the addition of this feature suggests that at least on big box retailer is paying attention to the needs of its customer base.
What do you think? Was this a wise addition on Walmart’s part? Will the customer base respond positively? Will this feature spread to other retailers? Sound off in the comments below!