Moribund MCX Delays Rollout, Cuts Staff

© Can Stock Photo Inc. / starmaroJust a day after Walmart Pay began its rollout, troubled mobile payments consortium MCX announced it was just about shutting down.

MCX, formally the Merchant Customer Exchange, announced yesterday it was laying off 30 employees and delaying, yet again, the launch of its mobile payments platform, CurrentC.

Announced in 2014 as a merchant-oriented mobile payments solution with the backing of retail titans Walmart and Target, MCX has seen its fortunes steadily decline as a host of mobile payments solutions made their way to market. MCX’s value proposition was lower fees for merchants by avoiding the card rails in favor of ACH, which is set to speed up as soon as this year. MCX would also benefit from loyalty plays and SKU-level data denied to other forms of mobile payments.

But it wasn’t enough. Target and other retailers defected to accept other forms of mobile payments, leaving MCX’s exclusivity arrangement, then Walmart announced its own solution. MCX’s slim hopes now seem to rest on the banks and solutions such as Chase Pay. Tom Noyes, payments expert and CEO of Commerce Signals, a payments data company, heard the news early and took a dim view of this.

No word from Chase on this (yet.)  Another payments expert, PayFinders founder and CEO Brian Roemmele, sounded the death knell for MCX back in 2014:

But it’s not as if other forms of mobile payments are taking off (outside Starbucks, that is.) Apple Pay and Samsung Pay usage is so low it’s hard to find credible figures. But at least they have a chance. And so does MCX, but it keeps getting slimmer.

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