US bank JP Morgan Chase has launched Chase Pay, the mobile payment service first announced last October, with just two retail partners on board.
The brands in question, however, are two of the biggest in the US: Starbucks (which will accept Chase Pay in 7,500 locations) and Best Buy (in 1,400 stores).
These names will be joined next year by Walmart, Conoco and participating Shell stations.
At launch, as well as making payments in-store, Chase Pay will be available to make in-app and online payments for Starbucks' pre-loaded card.
The app uses QR codes, and will be available to 94m credit, debit and pre-paid card accounts that Chase manages.
Chase Pay has the support of MCX, the consortium of US retailers including Best Buy, Walmart and Conoco, which formed in 2012 to create its own mobile payments solution, plans which seem to have been abandoned this year.
The deal between the two was struck after the bank agreed to take a smaller cut of purchases made via Chase Pay than traditional plastic cards, something that presumably carries over to this launch.
“Chase Pay is special because it’s the first digital payments solution that benefits both consumers and merchants,” said Jennifer Roberts, president of strategic alliances and loyalty solutions for Chase. “By focusing on merchant needs first – lower cost, zero fraud liability – we’ve got a real opportunity to break through the mobile payments noise.”