This time last year, just as Apple Pay was being launched, tech enthusiasts were pouring scorn on rival payments system CurrentC, because it depends on barcodes rather than the newer NFC wireless technology picked up by Apple.
The jury is still out on CurrentC -- a year on, it still hasn't launched -- but on Thursday Walmart announced a payment system of its own that uses barcodes, and it doesn't look too clumsy.
In a video provided by the retailer, a customer starts an app on an Android phone with a credit card and a gift card stored in it. The customer selects Walmart Pay on a self-serve checkout machine and a barcode displays on the machine. He points his phone at the barcode and the two link-up, identifying the customer. To complete the identification, the phone needs some kind of network connection.