LAS VEGAS — There was one message that emerged from the MCX panel at the Money2020 conference in Las Vegas and it came across loud and clear: The merchant-focused MCX mobile payments solution is real and pilots will happen soon.
“We are within a stone’s throw of a pilot,” said Jamie Henry, senior director, payments services, at Walmart.
All of that is important because when MCX was announced a year ago there was widespread belief that the participating merchants – including Walmart, CVS, Sears and many other leading national retailers – had no real interest in building out their own mobile payments system, that in fact MCX was designed to wring price concessions out of MasterCard and Visa.
The Tuesday panel – which included Mike Church, a vice president at Darden Restaurants; Jim Macari, who leads innovation at Phillips 66; and Kate Jaspon, corporate treasurer at Dunkin’ Brands – made its point clearly. MCX, they said, is not focused only on the costs of payments.
“Our focus is on bringing forth a new, more balanced payments system,” said Henry.
He stressed that the participating merchants have an incentive to make MCX succeed because “the merchants own it. We have a vested interest in MCX succeeding.”
Details revealed in the panel are that MCX will not be the consumer-facing brand although “we won’t share the consumer facing name with you today,” said Jaspon.
She also indicated that traditional DDA payment tools will be featured in MCX, along with merchant proprietary payment tools. No more details were offered.
Henry added that merchants in many cases will continue to offer their present mobile apps after the launch of MCX.
“We have a Walmart app, a Sam’s Club app. We will extend MCX functionality into those apps. This is about making the shopping experience easier for consumers, not more complicated,” he said.