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MCX partners with Paydiant as launch date remains elusive

While MCX moved one step closer to bringing its proposed mobile payments solution to market this week with the announced Paydiant partnership, an actual launch date has still not been set.

MCX, a consortium of retailers working on mobile payments, was first announced in 2012 and had been expected to launch late last year. However, the partnership with Paydiant is an important step as it gives an idea of what the final solution might look like, such as that individual retailers will be able to integrate MCX into their own mobile applications.

“MCX will use Paydiant’s cloud-based, white label platform to support the development of its mobile payments and promotional activities solution for member merchants,” said Scott Rankin, chief marketing officer at MCX, Boston.

“It will include an easy-to-implement application programming interface to enable MCX members to integrate complete mobile wallet capabilities and value-added services into their own branded iPhone and Android applications,” he said.

Bar codes
The final MCX solution is expected to use bar codes displayed on a mobile screen as a way to authenticate payments as such methods are easier and less expensive to implement than some of the other mobile payments options.

Paydiant’s technology will enable MCX member merchants to leverage existing smartphones, point-of-sale and payment terminals. It will include an API for enabling the integration of mobile wallet capabilities and value-added services into their own branded iPhone and Android applications.

The proposed solution is attractive to retailers as it will not require them to share customer information with third parties, as some of the other proposed solutions do.

Some merchants are already working directly with Paydiant on mobile wallet solutions.

For example, Subway said last year that Paydiant will be powering its mobile wallet (see story).

Merchant interest
MCX continues to sign up merchants, with fast food chain Wendy’s and Acme Fresh Market two of the most recent. Currently the list of participants includes more than 70 merchants with over 110,000 locations who process more than $1 trillion in payments annually.

Other participating merchants include Walmart, Target and Dunkin’ Donuts.

MCX has also been focusing on signing up smaller merchants (see story).

The lack of a launch date for MCX is the latest example of how mobile payments are progressing at a slower rate than had been expected. For example, Google Wallet and Isis both have NFC-enabled mobile wallets in market, but retailers and consumers both have been slow to adopt either.

On the other hand, one of the most successful mobile payments programs to date is the merchant-specific one from Starbucks, which is seeing close to five million mobile transactions per week (see story).

“MCX merchants believe that mobile commerce provides a unique opportunity to improve the shopping and purchasing experience for both customers and merchants, making it faster, more convenient and less expensive,” Mr. Rankin said.

“We strive to be the mobile-commerce leader, driving a transformation of the payments paradigm to bring balance to all participants and ensure that merchants retain appropriate control of their customer data so they may build deeper customer relationships and dramatically improve customer experiences,” he said.

Final Take
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York