Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has joined the Secure Remote Payment Council, a trade group promoting mobile payments and online PIN debit.

"As we have put together our game plan for the organization, Wal-Mart became very interested," said Paul Tomasofsky, the council's president and executive director. "To have them become a part of the decision-making process is tremendous."

The Westwood, N.J., trade group said last week that Wal-Mart has become a general member and part of its board.

EBillme, an online payments company; and Net1Virtual Card Inc., a payments services provider, also joined as associate members.

"Improving the security, safety and convenience of debit payments by consumers in the e-commerce and mobile-payments channels is very important to Wal-Mart," Mike Cook, a Wal-Mart vice president and assistant treasurer, said in a press release from the council last week.