The Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX), which is setting up a mobile payments system called CurrentC to rival Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) Pay, Softcard and other mobile payment offerings, has taken a lot of flak recently. That's mainly because the merchants that have signed up for its system, including Walmart, Target, CVS, Rite Aid, Best Buy and others, have agreed to use CurrentC exclusively. However, MCX CEO Dekkers Davidson said that exclusive arrangement likely won't last long.
When asked by Re/code what MCX merchants are afraid of, he said, "nothing." Davidson said there should be multiple "compelling" mobile payments systems for customers to choose from.
MCX insisted on exclusivity for now to give its merchants "breathing room" to develop CurrentC. Merchants are rallying behind CurrentC because it's a payment method using QR codes that won't incur the credit card fees that retailers have to pay on each credit card transaction. Davidson said MCX merchants are undertaking a massive overhaul of their systems to launch CurrentC but do not want to see other payment options fail. In fact, he said the exclusivity rule would expire in "months, not years."
Interestingly, Davidson denied that MCX had ordered CVS to turn off support for Apple Pay, and he suggested CVS might have simply done so because it had signed the exclusivity agreement. He noted that one MCX member, the supermarket chain Meijer, has decided not to shut off Apple Pay. Article