Apple Pay forces first split in MCX ranks as Best Buy jumps onboard

Apple Pay forces first split in MCX ranks as Best Buy jumps onboard

MCX, a Walmart-led competitor to Apple Pay, has suffered a big blow with the news that consortium member Best Buy is to begin accepting payments from iPhone-touting consumers in the summer.

The MCX consortium is currently conducting pilot trials of its own mobile payments app, CurrentC and has relied on exclusivity agreements with member firms to keep out competitive products.

The issue first grabbed the headlines at the launch of Apple's NFC payments app when two MCX-member chains, CVS and Rite Aid, switched off support for Apple Pay after initially accepting it at their terminals.

In lining up alongside Apple, Best Buy says: "Today’s consumers have many different ways to spend their money and we want to give our customers as many options as possible in how they pay for goods and services at Best Buy."

Starting today, Best Buy customers can use Apple Pay to make in-app purchases from an iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus.

All US Best Buy stores will begin accepting Apple Pay later this year, presumably when the retailer's exclusivity deal with MCX expires.

In a statement, MCX chief operating officer Scott Rankin says: "We are of the firm belief that there need to be at least two to three major players within the mobile payments ecosystem for it to succeed. We remain steadfast and passionate about CurrentC, as well as completely focused on delivering the best mobile commerce solution for our merchant partners and for consumers.”

Comments: (2)

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 28 April, 2015, 11:03Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Brings home the importance of getting the launch timing right. Time spent on blocking strategies seems better spent on expediting launch, and across market as a whole.

Martin Cox
Martin Cox - Rambus - Rotterdam 28 April, 2015, 15:00Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

I was always surprised by the idea that major merchants would refuse a payment method and try to dictate to their customers like that. If CurrentC is the best, let it stand alongside its competitors.

It'll be interesting to see if MCX will kick them out or start to realise that they need to stand behind their product and not try to defend it with restrictive practices.

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