'Merchant Customer Exchange' to Push Mobile Payments
A number of U.S. retailers today formed a new company called the Merchant Customer Exchange that they hope will bring mobile payments to most smartphones. The group is being spearheaded by national chains Wal-Mart, Best-Buy, and Target. The system will work through a smartphone application that can be used to make payments at retail centers and will include loyalty programs and coupons. The Merchant Customer Exchange didn't say if its service will require technology such as near-field communications, though it does expect the system to help it save certain costs. The group is going head to head against other mobile payment systems, including Google Wallet, ISIS, Square, and others. The full list of companies participating in the Merchant Customer Exchange includes 7-Eleven, Alon Brands, CVS/Pharmacy, Darden Restaurants, HMSHost, Hy-Vee, Lowe's, Publix Super Markets, Sears, Shell Oil, and Sunoco. More companies are expected to join the organization in the coming months. The Merchant Customer Exchange didn't indicate when the application would become available nor when the service would launch.
CVS, Rite Aid Shut Out Apple Pay
CVS and Rite Aid have disabled the NFC-based payment systems within their stores, effectively preventing consumers from using Apple Pay to make tap-and-go payments. Spokesperson Ashley Flower said Rite Air "does not currently accept Apple Pay" and that Rite Aid is "still in the process of evaluating out mobile payment options." CVS did not provide a comment, but Apple Pay worked in CVS stores when the service launched on October 20 and and ceased to work over the weekend.
Gmail Bolstered with Exchange Tasks
Google today made its Gmail application for Android devices more useful to those who use Microsoft Exchange services. The latest version of Gmail adds support for Exchange tasks.
MCX Set to Test CurrentC Mobile Payment Service
CurrentC, the mobile payment service backed by Best Buy, Target, and Walmart, will commence significant testing in the next few weeks. The tests will be offered to consumers in a handful of stores in the Columbus, Ohio, area.
Android Pay Rings Up Chase In the US
Google today said Chase has agreed to support Android Pay on Android smartphones and other devices. Starting immediately, Chase customers can add their eligible Chase Visa debit/credit card to Android Pay and make tap-and-go payments wherever Android Pay is accepted.
Best Buy Breaks With MCX, Will Accept Apple Pay
Best Buy today announced plans to begin accepting Apple Pay later this fall. The move is notable because the company is essentially breaking ranks with MCX (Merchant Customer Exchange), which was looking to debut its own mobile payment service called CurrentC.