The Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX), which is creating a mobile wallet for use among its retailer members, has finally released another nugget of information about its plans, small as it is.
The consortium reportedly has chosen Gemalto’s Allynis Mobile Payment platform to run its wallet. According to Finextra, MCX also will use Gemalto’s software for its application and development kits so retailers may embed the wallet functionality into their own wallets. In one of its few other announcements since its commencement last year, MCX earlier had indicated that it initially would support the use of QR codes for payments but leave open the option to support other technology as warranted by market needs.
“Gemalto’s global experience and unparalleled expertise make it the ideal partner to develop a mobile wallet worthy of the stature of merchants backing MCX. Our work with them over the past months leaves little doubt that MCX will benefit from their considerable technical expertise.” –MCX’s Robert Dodd
MCX still has much to share with the public before a true evaluation of its wallet is possible. Gemalto is a fine partner, but the devil’s in the details, so to speak. And there are few to be had. The Gemalto deal perhaps signifies the retailers’ seriousness in developing their own wallet instead of using its wallet announcement as leverage to negotiate better interchange rates with the card brands. It also suggests MCX’s payments app may not stand alone but will be embedded as a new payment method within retailers’ own wallets, perhaps as an option to a standalone MCX app/wallet. That suggests consumers will continue to have separate wallets for individual merchants, with just the MCX payment method in common. Consumers will tend to limit how many merchants’ wallets they want to support, and that could complicate MCX’s growth and use.
Among the goals for MCX is cheaper payment acceptance, control over customer data and improved shopping experiences for customers through targeted offers, promotions and location-based services. How it specifically will achieve all of that and convince consumers to embrace its payment method still remains unknown. MCX’s participants operate some 75,000 locations and generate $1 trillion in annual sales.
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