Participants include Target, Wal-mart, and 7-Eleven, among others.
A group of some of the largest retailers in the United States are coming up with their own mobile commerce platform in order to go head to head with telcos, banks, and technology companies that have already crowded that environment.
The system is being called the Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX).
An app for the MCX is already in development and through it, according to the group, consumers will be provided with a “versatile mobile commerce experience that will combine the convenience of paying at the register with customizable offers.”
Among the mobile commerce partners are also Sunoco, Sears, and Best Buy.
They have been stating that when you combine all of the consumers that they serve, this represents virtually every American with a smartphone, which translates to annual sales worth around $1 trillion.
According to the Wal-Mart corporate VP, Mike Cook, “MCX will leverage mobile technology to give consumers a faster and more convenient shopping experience while eliminating unnecessary costs for all stakeholders.”
This mobile commerce partnership is putting itself up against a broad range of major players in the industry, which includes Google Wallet – which has so far been relatively unsuccessful – as well as the Isis, PayPal, and Square mobile wallets which will soon be launched.
When the retailers first decided to work together on this program in March 2012, the reason that was stated for entering such a crowded marketplace was that after the current competition had been examined, the companies decided that they would simply be able to do better.
Last week, each of the retail participants were notably absent from the Mobile Payments Committee which had just been formed by Isis, Google, a number of telcos, credit card companies, banks, and processors.
Still, the Best Buy financial services president, Mark Williams, said that merchants are the ones who have the best understanding of their own customers’ payment and shopping experiences. He added that they feel confident that if they work together, they will be able to come up with a technology solution that will provide a more convenient, engaging, and efficient experience.