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Chase Acquires MCX Technology For Its Digital Wallet

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Chase Acquires MCX Technology For Its Digital Wallet

The long strange trip of the Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX), a retailer-led consortium that was supposed to provide an alternative to traditional payment cards, has taken yet another turn. JPMorgan Chase has acquired MCX’s payment technology to expand Chase Pay, the bank’s digital wallet product.

Chase Pay launched in November 2016 with a small group of initial merchants, including Best Buy. Other MCX merchants including Walmart, Shell, Phillips 66and Wakefernwill enable Chase Pay as a payment option during the next year or more, according to JPMorgan Chase.

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Even before MCX pulled the plug on its own CurrentC payments app in June 2016, members of the retail consortium were going their own way with payment. Rite Aid moved to accept Apple Pay, Google Wallet and Android Pay nationwide in August 2015, and marquee MCX member Walmartunveiled its own Walmart Pay app in December 2015.

What does Chase get for its investment? There’s a strong likelihood that MCX has valuable loyalty technology that could be incorporated into Chase Pay, making it more attractive to retailers and consumers.

A Payment Source article quotes Steve Mott, principal of consulting firm BetterBuyDesign, which had consulted with MCX: “Chase had concluded that even though MCX was not going to introduce its own wallet, it had some really useful technology, with most of it having to do with loyalty applications.”

The MCX team had members with “great ideas on how you could provide and differentiate your rewards at the point of sale from both an individual basis and consortium basis,” Mott added.

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