Walmart Pay adds 500 stores as MCX gets put on shelf

Merchant Customer Exchange's (MCX) mobile payment app, CurrentC, has been put on indefinite hold. Concurrently, Walmart (NYSE:WMT) announced the rollout of Walmart Pay to 500 stores in Arkansas and Texas.

Developed and backed by a consortium of retailers back in 2012, CurrentC is no longer turning into the viable digital payment platform the group had hoped, reported RetailWire. The thinking was that retailers could develop their own payment service to avoid credit card transaction fees and to avoid working with Apple or Google on their platforms.

"Utilizing unique feedback from the marketplace and our Columbus pilot, MCX has made a decision to concentrate more heavily in the immediate term on other aspects of our business including working with financial institutions, like our partnership with Chase, to enable and scale mobile payment solutions," MCX CEO Brian Mooney told TechCrunch.

As a result, MCX cut 30 staff members.

JPMorgan Chase and MCX announced last October that retailers in the consortium would accept its Chase Pay mobile payment app and use QR codes to lower costs, limit liability and increase the speed of checkout. The Columbus pilot was in place with nine retailers including Walmart, CVS and Target, with other retailers preparing to add their names.

The company was supposed to roll out CurrentC in 2015, and then in August there was an announcement that it would be pushed back until 2016.

Meanwhile, Walmart is forging ahead with its app, which launched in December 2015 and also uses QR codes to enable mobile payments. In total, the app is expected to reach 1,000 Walmart stores, reported CNBC.

"We really saw a need for Walmart Pay, not to just join the mobile payment wars, but really to create a better shopping experience for our customers and eliminate those points of friction at the register," Molly Blakeman, a spokeswoman for Walmart, told CNBC.

Walmart Pay is slated to be released nationwide by the end of June.

For more:
- see this TechCrunch article
- see this CNBC article
- see this RetailWire article

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