Retail Giants Partner to Develop Mobile Wallet
Giant retailers Wal-Mart, Target and 7-Eleven are to team up to develop a mobile wallet, to be known as Merchant Customer Exchange - or more catchily, MCX. The wallet will use NFC technology for its payments.
While the consensus seems to be that mobile payments will rocket in the coming years, no single payment system has yet emerged as dominant - or, more importantly, likely to break through to the mass market.
Brands joining the scheme include Alon, Best Buy, CVS, Hy-Vee, Sears, Shell Oil Products and Sunoco.
Terfel Roberts, UK managing director for mobile payments platform Danal thinks the development might not be completely positive for customers.
"It was only a matter of time before this type of initiative emerged - driven, no doubt, by the charges levied on the retailers by the financial industry," Roberts says. "However, it seems that everyone from search engine suppliers, to carriers to retailers all believe they can process payments in a secure and customer-friendly way - and this will leave will leave the customer confused, and their options fragmented. The truth is the companies that can pull all these different payment methods together, and offer the consumer the flexibility of where they pay from, are none of the above. Third-party payment providers on the other hand are not limited to which carrier, retailer, bank or credit card they service. The sooner retailers, mobile carriers and the rest realise this, and open their systems to the third party payment providers more readily, the sooner customers will reap the benefit, and be able to manage their finances more effectively."