As NFC rumors for Apple’s next-generation iPhone begin to calm down, a few major retailers have stepped up to the plate to make this dream a reality. Best Buy, Target, Walmart, and other unnamed retailers have joined forces to create Merchant Customer Exchange. This new alliance promises to bring a unified and reliable mobile payment solution to “virtually any smartphone.”
The new collaboration is said to offer consumers, “a versatile mobile-commerce experience that will combine the convenience of paying at the register with customizable offers.”
It’s unclear as to how these retailers plan to accomplish this and how exactly MCX will work, but it’s great to know that a solution is currently being developed. With major retailers on board, this plan has the potential to become a standard. Starbucks and Square also recently joined forces to create a similar mobile payment solution. It seems like everyone but Apple is in on this movement.
According to The Verge:
MCX was quick to point out that its solution will easily integrate a variety of offers, promotions, and retail programs — it seems the group is hoping to get consumers to spend a bit more by filtering deals and sales down to consumers. There’s no timeframe as to when this new payment system will begin rolling out, but MCX said it would release information on more additional participating companies in the coming months.
I don’t understand why Apple hasn’t taken initiative to create something like this yet. They have the financial power and market dominance to pull it off. All Apple needs is backing from a credible financial institution and a way to implement the technology.
The new Passbook app in iOS 6 as some real potential to be a great mobile payment solution. Sadly, without the support of the retail industry Apple will need to rethink its game plan. As of now, Passbook is nothing more than a boarding pass and coupon collector. For a native iOS app, I think that Apple would want to add more functionality than that.
Another point of interest in mobile payments is security. How will these companies secure a mobile payment platform? If Apple were to bring mobile payments to the new iPhone, it would have to be very secure. It would be a huge liability for Apple without the proper security precautions in place.
Apple has already shown us a reliable mobile payment solution with the Apple Store app but in all reality, that’s on a much smaller scale in comparison to what MCX plans to do. I think Apple has a small window of opportunity to get in on this upcoming mobile payment technology. If they wait too long, there could be no hope for the future of an NFC enabled iPhone.