MCX Picks Gemalto to Build its Mobile Wallet (April 18, 2013)
The wheels are turning for U.S. merchant consortium MCX, which this week said Netherlands-based Gemalto will build its mobile wallet. MCX, founded last year by major merchants including Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Target Corp. and CVS, altogether counts about 30 merchants as members aiming to create a broad mobile payment app streamlining payment and loyalty options for consumers. Observers say merchants hope to cut transaction costs and find other efficiencies by joining forces. MCX this week reiterated that its initial mobile wallet will be “primarily barcode and cloud-based” and will run on Gemalto’s Allynis Mobile Payment platform with the capability for merchants to embed the MCX wallet within their own mobile apps. The vendor decision brings its solution “a move closer,” MCX said, but the firm has not disclosed when it will go live.
The Isis mobile wallet venture, a joint effort of AT&T Mobility, Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile that officially went live in a two-city pilot in October 2012 in Salt Lake City and Austin, Texas, deploys Gemalto’s Allynis Trust Service Manager to secure its mobile commerce platform. Analysts say that experience could be a plus for MCX. “MCX is making a sound choice by going with Gemalto, specifically because Gemalto has the implementation battle scars from the Isis pilots; that experience will be extremely valuable to MCX,” David Schropfer, head of mobile commerce for advisory firm The Luciano Group, tells Paybefore.
Gemalto’s deep expertise in NFC also could be an asset to MCX down the road if the merchant group decides to augment its barcode technology with tap-and-pay technology, some observers suggest. “While Gemalto is fairly well known as a provider in the NFC space, most leading mobile payments companies have been diversifying their product portfolios and not putting all of their eggs in the basket of a single [payment] technology,” Rick Oglesby, a senior analyst with Aite Group, tells Paybefore.