By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Dallas – More than a dozen national retailers, including Best Buy, Walmart, Sears, Target and Lowe’s, have formed a new mobile payment company called Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX).
The effort, still in development, promises retailers vast scale and consumer insights while providing shoppers with a versatile m-commerce experience that combines the convenience of paying at the register with customizable offers.
The service will compete with a growing number of mobile payment platforms by credit card companies and others, including Google Wallet; Isis, a forthcoming collaboration of cellular carriers AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon; and a nascent Starbucks program powered by a Visa-backed start-up called Square.
MCX said its initial focus will center on offering merchants an m-commerce solution capable of “seamlessly integrating a wide range of consumer offers, promotions and retail programs.” The app is expected to be available on all smartphone platforms.
Observed Best Buy financial services president Mark Williams, “As merchants, no one understands our customers’ shopping and payment experience better than we do, and we’re confident that together we can develop a technology solution that makes that experience more engaging, convenient and efficient,” said.
Mike Cook, corporate VP and assistant treasurer at Wal-Mart, said MCX will give consumers a faster and more convenient shopping experience, and will employ secure technology to deliver “an efficiency-enhancing mobile solution” that will eliminate unnecessary costs, including, ostensibly, credit card fees.
Added Target’s financial and retail services president Terry Scully, “We believe MCX is uniquely qualified to offer the most comprehensive mobile payment options for consumers. By participating in MCX, merchants are in a position to effectively deliver innovative payment approaches that aren’t available today.”
The new platform will be available to all merchant categories, including retail stores, restaurants, gas stations and e-tailers. Founding merchants include 7-Eleven, Alon Brands, Best Buy, CVS, Darden Restaurants, HMSHost, Hy-Vee, Lowe’s, Publix Super Markets, Sears Holdings, Shell Oil Products U.S., Sunoco, Target and Wal-Mart Stores, which together account for approximately $1 trillion in annual sales.
MCX expects to announce additional members in the coming months. For more information, visit MCX.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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