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Wal-Mart, Target, Sears and Other Retailers Accelerate Mobile Payment: ISIS & Google Wallet Under Threat?

by Nitesh Patel | 8月 17, 2012

On 15th August 2012 15 retailers, including Wal-Mart, Target, 7-Eleven, Sears and CVS Pharmacy announced the creation of a joint venture company, Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX), aimed at providing retailers with a customizable platform through which to deliver mobile commerce applications to smartphones. The venture claims additional merchants will join in the near future and promises to announce further details about the initiative.
At this stage hard information remains scarce, although initial indications are that the application will be a mobile wallet, allowing consumers to make payments (inside stores and remotely), store loyalty applications and receive offers and discounts. If correct the wallet will go head to head with Google Wallet and ISIS, which is backed by operators AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless.
However, key questions remain:
  • When will the application will be available for consumers?
  • How it will be branded and distributed?
  • What features are intended?  E.g. payment, loyalty, coupons, others?
  • What technologies and payment standards will be supported?
  • What business model will be employed?
MCX is clearly a response to strong expected consumer demand for mobile commerce, the slow roll-out of NFC payment services (e.g. ISIS), and a reluctance to support multiple third-party mobile wallet ecosystems, including ISIS, which charge retailers to participate.  
So, are the futures of ISIS and Google Wallet under threat? My opinion on that is discussed in greater detail in my insight, Wal-Mart, Target, Sears and Other Retailers Accelerate Mobile Payment:  ISIS & Google Wallet Under Threat?”
Nitesh Patel
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