Super-duper payment consortium announcement. Legion of Doom seen with tail between its legs.

A group of over a dozen big-time retailers will announce a mobile payment partnership later today. Target, Walmart, and 7-11 are among the heavy hitters that say they will use Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX), foregoing other payment systems like Google Wallet, ISIS, or Square, which announced its own big partnership with Starbucks last week. The burgeoning market for mobile payment is getting crowded quick, fast, in a hurry.

From the Wall Street Journal:

All the mobile-payments efforts now under way are aimed at satisfying growing demand from consumers, particularly younger ones, for payments that are less cumbersome and faster. Merchants believe that building such electronic systems will deepen customer loyalty
By setting up their own system, the merchants in MCX also are counting on leveraging existing relationships with customers to get them accustomed to paying with a phone.

What comes from said leveraging of said relationships? Well, a better shopping experience, like maybe soon you’ll be able to take your phone that just downloaded a list of what’s running low or empty from your fridge, to the grocery store, where you can find a grocery cart full of your goodies waiting for you with special coupons and a big gold brick. Minus the gold brick thing, I could easily see that as future us; BUT, let’s there’s a trade off. Sure, stores might know your shopping habits, but putting a piece of them on your phone means they could potentially know when you’re near (thanks GPS), where your friends shop (thanks shared contact list), and the social media you like to consume (thanks to you, addicted updater).

About the author

Marc Sanchez is the technical director and associate producer for Marketplace Tech Report where he is responsible for shaping the sound of the show.
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