Wal-Mart and US retailers form m-commerce platform

A handful of big US retailers got together this week to develop a mobile commerce platform backed by a mobile wallet designed to work across “virtually any” smartphone.

The Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX) was founded by 7-Eleven; Alon Brands; Best Buy; CVS/pharmacy; Darden Restaurants; HMSHost; Hy-Vee; Lowe’s; Michaels Stores; Publix Super Markets; Sears Holdings; Shell Oil Products US; Sunoco; Target and Wal-Mart Stores. Combined, these brands claim to already serve nearly every smartphone-enabled American on a weekly basis.

It’s not yet been revealed who is providing the nuts and bolts technology for the platform, but MCX said “development of the mobile application is underway, with an initial focus on a flexible solution that will offer merchants a customizable platform with the features and functionality needed to best meet consumers’ needs. The application will be available through virtually any smartphone.”

Earlier this week Best Buy’s European operation became a key player in a similar initiative on the other side of the Atlantic. Along with Monetise and Carphone Warehouse (CPW), Best Buy saw the Mobile Money Network’s (MMN) SimplyTap application start deployment.

The news comes as Juniper Research forecast that global mobile payment transactions are expected to rise nearly 400 per cent over the next five years to reach a value of $1.3tn by 2017.

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