Who’s emptying Google’s wallet?

LAST WEEK, a syndicate of retailers announced the launch of a mobile commerce company by the name Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX).

By Prashant Vadgaonkar

Published: Sat 25 Aug 2012, 5:18 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 12:01 PM

MCX has already signed up the likes of retail giants such as Target, Lowe’s, Best Buy and Wal-Mart to name a few. The companies together generate $1 trillion in sales each year, it is estimated.

MCX is in the process of developing a mobile app that would allow consumer make payments for purchases at participating retailers using their mobile devices. The app is expected to work on any smartphone and is expected to integrate retail programs, campaigns and promotions. MCX claims to make the solution available to all merchant classes from retail to e-commerce and this would be a fully secure solution.

The launch of this app is expected to give anxious moments for Google and its mobile payment app, Google Wallet which runs on Android-based devices and allows customers using specific phones to make payments for purchases. With the MCX offering on the block, Google may have to team up with partners from credit card companies and the “unattached” merchant establishments get a foothold in the marketplace.

Google Wallet is a mobile payment system that allows its users to store debit, credit, loyalty and gift cards as well as redeeming sales promotions on their mobile phone. Google Wallet uses near field communication (NFC) to “make secure payments fast and convenient by simply tapping the phone on any PayPass-enabled terminal at checkout.” Google doesn’t currently charge users or merchants for access to Wallet, and plans to make money by offering sponsored ads to their users.

The Google Wallet was designed as an “open” platform. Payment networks, banks and carriers have been invited to participate in the same. Google Wallet launch partners include Citi as the issuing bank, MasterCard as the initial payment network, and Sprint as the first mobile carrier.

Merchants who accept Google Wallet include Subway, Foot Locker, Macy’s, Jamba Juice, American Eagle Outfitters, Bloomingdales, RadioShack, The Container Store, Walgreens and Toys “R” Us. Google Wallet works at other participating MasterCard PayPass merchants including McDonald’s, BP, 7-Eleven, Sunoco, Tim Hortons, Best Buy, CVS Pharmacy, Dairy Queen, Office Max, Petco, Sports Authority, The Home Depot, and other retailers. NJ Transit also participates with Paypass and Google Wallet.

Though the date for the launch of its app is not yet disclosed, Google’s Wallet is surely likely to face rough weather with this new development since MCX plans to rope in more merchants in the days to come!

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