Does Walmart’s mobile checkout service offer any real value?

Reuters is reporting that Walmart is expanding its mobile checkout pilot program from its current six dozen outlets to more than 200 stores. Scan & Go, which is featured in the retailers’ mobile app, enables users to scan items with their phones as they shop, then pay at a self-checkout stand on their way out of the store. The offering is available for iOS devices but will support Android gadgets “soon.”
While that offering may remind you of Starbucks’ mobile payment app — which has seen impressive traction — I don’t see anything particularly compelling about Walmart’s payment feature. Not only must users download the company’s app, they must actively scan every item as they shop. And while Starbucks’ loyalty program is a huge benefit of its mobile payment app, Walmart has yet to offer the kinds of discounts or coupons that would encourage users to try Scan & Go rather than cash or credit cards. I know that we’re still in the very early days of mobile payments, and Walmart is only dipping its toes in the water, but until the retailers provides a reason to use Scan & Go I suspect the feature will fail to find much of an audience.