Earlier today, The New York Times confirmed that members of the Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX) consortium are contractually obligated to reject mobile payment services other than the group’s upcoming CurrentC platform.
This is the reason companies such as CVS and Rite Aid have previously announced that they cannot accept customer payments from Apple Pay or Google Wallet, even though they have near field communication (NFC) terminals in stores.
The MCX is now attempting to clarify its position by noting that members are free to leave the organization at any time without facing a fine. They note:
MCX merchants make their own decisions about what solutions they want to bring to their customers; the choice is theirs. When merchants choose to work with MCX, they choose to do so exclusively and we’re proud of the long list of merchants who have partnered with us. Importantly, if a merchant decides to stop working with MCX, there are no fines.
In other words, MCX has now opened the door for members to exit the organization, as I expect many will do, without facing penalties.
The New York Times noted that members would face fines if they remained with MCX and also accepted NFC payments.
As I noted earlier this week, MCX has no business trying to pick a fight with Apple or Google over mobile payments. Especially with a system, CurrentC, that has been panned by many for being outdated, insecure, and anti-consumer.
MCX includes Walmart, 7-Eleven, Best Buy, Dunkin’ Donuts, Kmart, Wendy’s, and other top-tier merchants. For a full listing of companies that are currently a part of the consortium and contractually cannot support Apple Pay, click here.