MCX in danger as Rite Aid breaks ranks
11 August 2015 | 8305 views | 2
In another blow to retailer-led mobile payments consortium MCX, US drugstore chain Rite Aid is activating support for rival products from Google and Apple across the company's 4600 outlets nationwide.
Rite Aid was one of two MCX consortium members who switched off support for Apple Pay when it made its debut in the US last year.
The Walmart-led 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 first sign of a crumbling in the ranks came in April this year, when electronic retailer Best Buy announced that it would board the Apple Pay bandwagon as soon as its exclusivity contract with MCX expired.
Rite Aid says it will begin accepting Apple Pay and Google Wallet - as well as tap and pay credit and debit cards - from 20 August. The company will also accept Google’s forthcoming rival to Apple Pay, Android Pay, at launch.
MCX is in danger of being left behind as contracts with member firms expire. The consortium is still no nearer to a full-scale commercial roll out three years after the idea was first mooted, although reports from earlier this month suggest that a pilot with a handful of merchants in Columbus, Ohio, is scheduled for late August.