Kohl’s Pay, the Latest ‘Pay’ To Emerge from the Ruins of MCX

© Can Stock Photo Inc. / ArenaPhotoAnother merchant has launched a mobile payments app — Kohl’s Pay, announced in September, is live nationwide today, the retailer said.

Kohl’s was one of the larger members of MCX, the merchant-run mobile payments scheme whose technology, CurrentC, now seemingly exists only as a component of Chase Pay.

Many of the former MCX constituents now have their own branded payment technologies, including Dunkin’ Donuts, Target, and most importantly, Walmart.

It all seems a little ridiculous, especially since Apple claims that 90% of today’s mobile payments in the U.S. take place over Apple Pay, but Kohl’s Pay may make sense. The company has a loyal following, and 60% of its transactions take place with store-branded cards. If those users can be converted to mobile in any number, Kohl’s could see significant mobile use.

Kohl’s isn’t limiting its options to it own app. The New Albany, Ohio-based retailer also made mobile news earlier this year for being the first merchant to enable its store cards to be used within Apple Pay.

Rewards and discounts are logged within the app, as our receipts with SKU-level data — something Apple Pay cannot provide. Kohl’s existing app, which has 14 million downloads, according to TechCrunch, added the functionality today.

Tom Noyes, CEO of Commerce Signals, a commerce data company, explored this issue back in 2014. He asked, what do merchants want in commerce? Said Noyes:

  • Consumer Engagement
  • Consumer Acquisition
  • Consumer Loyalty
  • Allow Retailer to be in control of data
  • Partners that allow Store’s brand front and center
  • A Partner either IN CONTROL of the consumer experience (Apple/Google) or one that already has massive consumer adoption (ie Facebook).
  • Creating a fantastic customer experience from end-end
  • Ability to manage campaigns, data or your business
  • A Partner that can reach/influence consumers WHERE THEY ARE.. not where you want them to be.
  • Payment..? I guess if that comes too… 

Today the answer seems to be, why not create your own payment platform? Building up users can give a merchant leverage in whatever negotiations come down the road, and increase engagement with brand loyalists now.

So who’s next?

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