Merchant Customer Exchange CEO Dekkers Davidson said that the exclusive arrangement that bars MCX merchants from using Apple Pay will expire in "months, not years."
The recent developments in mobile payments are a classic example of a rising tide lifting all boats. As soon as Apple Pay became active, the curiosity factor drove more than 1 million iPhone users to launch their long-neglected Passbook app, download their credit card onto their device, and try out the service. Then, all of the sudden, CurrentC (the brand of Merchant Customer Exchange), and SoftCard (the brand of the AT&T/Verizon/T-Mobile JV), from whom we'd heard zilch in about a year, sprung to life. That you couldn't ring up your Huggies purchase at CVS with your iPhone became this week's #firstworldproblem.
The Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX) is willing to use Near Field Communications technology like its rivals, its CEO said. MCX is a consortium of some of the country's largest retailers that is setting up a mobile payments program that will stand as a rival to Apple Pay, Softcard and other mobile payment offerings.
Apple CEO Tim Cook indicated he is open to working with Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba and its billionaire founder Jack Ma, who expressed an interest in partnering with the iPhone maker in mobile payments.
Drug store chains CVS and Rite Aid appear to have decided to stop supporting Apple Pay, the company's new mobile payments platform, as well as other payment methods that use Near Field Communications technology, according to multiple reports.
Verizon Communications lead a $9.4 million investment round in Flint Mobile, a mobile payments service that uses software to process transactions instead of hardware, giving the company a boost from a major carrier.
Apple is set to launch its mobile payments service, Apple Pay, on Oct. 18, according to an internal Walgreens memo. The memo, first reported by MacRumors, indicates that launch date, but it's unclear if the service will go live then or a little before.
Apple Pay, the company's new mobile payments platform, will be launched first in the U.S., where it will most likely create considerable interest among the many other players in the mobile payment sector that have already been working with developers to integrate payments into apps. Special report
Apple is restricting the functionality of the Near Field Communications chipset embedded in its new iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and Apple Watch products to its Apple Pay mobile payments program, according to multiple reports.
Softcard, the mobile payments company recently rebranded from Isis, said it is working with Apple to enable its own solution on the iPhone, just as Apple unveiled its own mobile payments program, Apple Pay. Although Softcard's announcement could be seen as a way to maintain its relevance now that Apple will offer a competing solution, the news underscores the idea that Apple Pay will spur consumer and retailer interest and adoption in Near Field Communication technology and mobile payments, according to analysts and industry players.