The most recent addition to the Merchant Consumer Exchange’s initiative (dare we call it a “network”?) is RaceTrac, a regional retail gasoline convenience store company operating 300 locations throughout the southeast and 300 other stores named RaceWay. When looking at the list of participants in MCX, it reads like a who’s who of top retail, supermarket, and petroleum brands. As any new payment entrant understands, merchant acceptance is a cornerstone of any successful scheme. Without ubiquity, it is a slow ride up.
From CSP Net:
“It was critical to us that the mobile-payment solution we chose for RaceTrac be accepted at a wide range of other merchants frequented by our guests. This made MCX a clear choice,” she said.
In this case, however, widespread merchant adoption is even more critical since it will distribute the marketing reach of the scheme across a landscape used by consumers every single day. While retail brands such as Best Buy and Dillards also mentioned, the real potential of MCX is the fact that it may be offered by brands that consumers use for everyday items such as food, gas, and personal products. This reach will support a potentially powerful combination of discounts to incent initial use and familiarity using the product at the point of sale. Mercator Advisory Group can see that some retailers in the network, such as Wal-Mart and CVS, are already piloting QR code technologies and continue to believe that a more general release may be forthcoming later this year.
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