Love it or hate it, there’s no question that Walmart can save you money. In addition to offering “always low prices” on clothes, electronics, and household items, many locations also stock grocery essentials (personally, I’m a big fan of the Walmart Neighborhood Market locations that carry little more than groceries). Additionally, the Walmart app includes a nifty feature known as the Savings Catcher that will actually compare your purchases to the advertised prices of competitors and refund you the difference if it finds a better deal. Now, while that aspect of the Savings Catcher will remain, the company has announced a couple of important changes you should know about.
Starting October 29th, Savings Catcher receipts will be submitted exclusively using Walmart Pay — the company’s mobile payments solution. Prior to this, shoppers had the option to pay using cash or credit cards and just scan the barcode of their receipt using Savings Catcher. Similarly, should Walmart’s app find a lower price on any of your purchases, you’ll also only be able to spend your digital gift card using Walmart Pay. In an e-mail to users, the company explained the switch, noting, “This will allow you to both submit and spend your Savings Catcher rewards within the same Walmart Pay experience.”
While I’m sure a streamlined experience is nice to have, it seems pretty clear to me that Walmart’s real intent here is to spur adoption of their Walmart Pay option. Incidentally, even prior to this change, I actually preferred to use Walmart Pay because of how it made submitting Savings Catcher receipts simpler. Of course, the biggest downside to this change comes to those customers who traffic strictly in cash and may not even have a credit or debit card. To that point, I can’t help but wonder if Walmart will also start talking up their Walmart MoneyCard services in conjunction with this Walmart Pay push.
The good news here is that, once you sign-up for Walmart Pay, the system is fairly easy to use. When you’re ready to check out, you can open the Walmart app, select Walmart Pay from the Services tab, and use your phone’s camera to scan the QR code that displays on the credit card reader. Walmart Pay can also be used at the store’s self-checkout kiosks where available. Something to note is that, when using Walmart Pay, you’ll only receive a digital copy of your receipt instead of a physical one. This doesn’t bother me at all but those who like to file everything may find this to be annoying.
As I mentioned, considering that I’ve been a Walmart Pay user for months, this Savings Catcher switch really doesn’t mean much for me. At the same time, I am aware that there are many shoppers who will feel negative effects from his change and I sympathize with them. Hopefully this change in policy will be as positive as the company makes it sound and those looking to save money can continue using this admittedly awesome tool.
This article was first published on Money@30.