Best Buy, Walmart And More Team Up To Form Merchant Customer Exchange

Mobile payments. At this point, even in the U.S., they aren't anything new. The concept is here, and it's not going away any time soon. With Isis, Google Wallet, PayPass, Square, etc. all out in the market place, it's just a matter of time before that credit card gets worn out less and less. It seems like each week a new group of companies are banding together to create a new way to pay for goods, and now, a huge swatch of mega-corps are joining hands to form the Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX). The new company will seek to offer customers a "versatile mobile-commerce experience that will combine the convenience of paying at the register with customizable offers." Sounds like a mash-up between mobile payments and Groupon, honestly.

Development of MCX's mobile application is underway, with initial focus centering on the ability to offer merchants a mobile-commerce solution capable of seamlessly integrating a wide range of consumer offers, promotions and retail programs. In a way, it's retail getting ahead of the deal curve. MCX includes merchants such as: 7-Eleven, Inc.; Alon Brands; Best Buy Co., Inc.; CVS/pharmacy; Darden Restaurants; HMSHost; Hy-Vee, Inc.; Lowe's; Publix Super Markets, Inc.; Sears Holdings; Shell Oil Products US; Sunoco, Inc.; Target Corp. and Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. Combined, these initial members serve nearly every smartphone-enabled American and account for approximately $1 trillion in annual sales. While current MCX merchants have unmatched scale, MCX intends to address the needs of financial institutions and merchants of all sizes to better serve consumers in the growing mobile marketplace.

Here's the real $64,000 question: will all of these mobile payment / deal centers ever join up and standardize? Because keeping track of 'em all is getting a little ridiculous...
Tags:  payments, mcx