More retailers unveil mobile wallets
MCX, or Merchant Customer Exchange, a company formed by several major U.S. retailers to develop a secure mobile payment platform, has announced that its platform, “CurrentC,” is being piloted and will expand this year and next to an increasing number of retailers. Those retailers include Wal-Mart Stores, CVS, Gap, Best Buy, and Target among others.
CurrentC uses the cloud rather than phone-based Near Field Communications technology and will track retailers’ loyalty program points. Many MCX retailers have made moves to block NFC capabilities to give CurrentC an advantage.
Meanwhile, Macy’s also announced its own mobile wallet for in-store and online payments that offers special loyalty features and well as payment security.
Reports that Apple will launch a mobile payment platform may have something to do with this deluge of announcements from competing systems. And perhaps it helps that credit cards are increasingly more vulnerable and apparently inadequately protected from hackers. The mobile payments arena is becoming a battleground, with a variety of technologies and turf-protecting limitations. If that kind of balkanization goes on too long, consumers may never be quite cured of their resistance to using mobile payments.
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