A network of big retailers are joining together to form an alliance, sort of like the Avengers except more boxy, less muscular and no super powers (so, nothing like the Avengers). Instead, this alliance, the Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX), stands to create a standard behind mobile payment systems. Whether this is to replace or coordinate efforts to join Google Wallet is unknown at this time. What is certain is retailers like Wal-Mart, Target, Japan 7-Eleven, Best Buy, CVW, Darden Restaurants, Lowe’s, Sears and Shell with a combined $1 trillion in annual sales, wants to add in their thoughts about one singular format.
The MCX is apparently in talks with banks/card, telecom and tech companies to develop a format that works for big retailers.
According to a recent report by Juniper Research, mobile payments will reach $1.3 trillion annually by 2017. To put those numbers into perspective, 2010 transactions equaled 20 billion transactions totaling $1.9 trillion in the United States alone as reported by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Federal Reserve.
The trend seems to show the use of plastic diminishing and mobile formats rising. Earlier this month, Starbucks announced Square Inc will process transactions in all U.S. outlets. In May, PayPal announced it has reached agreements with retailers to use their mobile format.
The Exchange is looking to prevent any competing formats, something that benefits customers. Any of you still hanging on to HD-DVDs? (We’re looking at Editor-in-Chief Sean on that one.)
Hopefully this alliance is able to curtail any future format showdown. Stay tuned for more information.