An article in BetaBoston, a Boston Globe site, forecasts a “gloomy” future of MCX, the mobile payments product in development by a consortium of major retailers.
“Three years ago, sensing that consumers would soon want to pay for things with their smartphones, many of the country’s largest retailers — including WalMart, Southwest Airlines, Bed Bath & Beyond and Dunkin’ Donuts —decided to build their own mobile-payments system.
But the company they built, Needham, MA-based Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX), still hasn’t produced the smartphone app at the center of its strategy. And after this week, things aren’t looking very promising.”
MCX is currently in testing phases with multiple retailers and plans to launch sometime later this year. Some sources say that the launch could come as early as this summer. MCX has significant partnerships not only with major retailers, but also with technology and payments companies include Paydiant, which was recently acquired by PayPal. That could lead to a broader relationship with PayPal, which has done its own work on point of sale acceptance. MCX is also working with payments processor FIS for processing, routing, and settlement services. The company also partnered with InComm, which has extensive merchant presence and point of sale technology to drive acceptance.
As a private company with large merchants backing it, MCX does not yet need to make a lot of noise about its options, Much like Apple with its payments apps, MCX will have large scale support from the merchants to get its app into customers hands. Although things are quiet at the moment, it is too soon to say that MCX will not deliver.
Overview by Ben Jackson, Director, Prepaid Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group
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