Major retailers, including Wal-Mart, Target, Best Buy, among others, think so. That’s why they announced today that they’re joining forces to form the Merchant Customer Exchange, or MCX, and are creating their own collective nationwide mobile commerce network.
MCX, while still in search of their chief executive, said that their new mobile app would be available on almost all smartphones, suggesting that “its technology may bypass native app experiences in favor of the cross-platform HTML5 web standard,” according to Fierce Mobile Content. The MCX mobile app will also have exclusive offers, promotions and more for its users.
Additional companies that are joining the MCX alliance (still not as cool as the Rebel Alliance) include Sears, 7-Eleven, Alon Brands, CVS Pharmacy, Darden Restaurants, HMSHost, Hy-Vee, Lowe’s, Publix Super Markets, Shell Oil and Sunoco. All told, the MCX companies account for a reported $1 trillion in annual sales, according to the MCX release.
It comes as a move to challenge Google Wallet, and T-Mobile, AT&T and Verizon’s collective point-of-sale mobile initiative, Isis. And while mobile adoption has been slow, CNN Money reports that “Gartner believes (it) will be a $617 billion mobile payments market by 2016, up from $171.5 billion this year.”
One of the stumbling blocks to mobile payments being user friendly is the lack of standardization, allowing mobile wallets to work interchangeably. And now, MCX’s initiative adds to the fray: Google Wallet, Isis, and Starbucks, which announced it would use the Square app for payments, and PayPal’s Intuit mobile wallet solution. And last week, as reported here by Wired, Google, PayPal, AT&T, Spring, T-Mobile, Verizon, major credit card companies and more joined efforts to standardize mobile payments.
Will these guys get their acts together? Or are we headed for a world of too many mobile payment systems?