US retailers join forces for m-commerce system
15 August 2012 | 11366 views | 1
A group of big American retailers - including 7-Eleven, Target and Wal-mart - are developing their own mobile commerce platform, taking on a crowded field of banks, telcos and technology companies.
The Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX) is already building an app it says will offer consumers a "versatile mobile-commerce experience that will combine the convenience of paying at the register with customisable offers".
The partners - including Best Buy, Sears and Sunoco - boast that, between them, they serve nearly every smartphone-enabled American and account for approximately $1 trillion in annual sales.
Mike Cook, corporate VP, Wal-Mart, says: "MCX will leverage mobile technology to give consumers a faster and more convenient shopping experience while eliminating unnecessary costs for all stakeholders."
The consortium is taking on a slew of major players, including the so-far unsuccessful Google Wallet, the soon-to-launch telco-led consortium Isis, PayPal and Square.
When news of the plans first broke in March, Steve Mott from BetterBuyDesign told the Wall Street Journal that the retailers have decided to enter a packed field after surveying the current competition and deciding they can do better.
Last week the merchants were noticeable by their absence from a newly formed 'Mobile Payments Committee' made up of telcos, Google, Isis, card schemes and a subset of banks and payment processors.
Nevertheless, Mark Williams, president, financial services, Best Buy, argues that: "As merchants, no one understands our customers' shopping and payment experience better than we do, and we're confident that together we can develop a technology solution that makes that experience more engaging, convenient and efficient."