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Wal-Mart-Backed MCX Postpones Rollout, Cuts 30 Jobs

2 min read

Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX), a developer of mobile payment technology whose strategy has been thrown into question by big retailers developing their own mobile wallets, said on Monday that it was postponing the nationwide rollout of its service and had cut 30 jobs.

MCX Chief Executive Officer Brian Mooney said in a statement the consortium of retailers, including Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Target Corp., would focus on partnering with banks and other businesses after scrapping the planned retail launch.

The postponement comes the same day that Wal-Mart launched its own mobile payment system, first unveiled late last year, in nearly 600 stores in Texas and Arkansas. Target Corp is also developing its own mobile wallet, sources have told Reuters.

The service, CurrentC, lets shoppers pay for items with their mobile phones and pulls up a scannable code to initiate transactions. It has been in development for three years and recently started a pilot in stores in Columbus, Ohio.

With the backing of many of the largest U.S. retailers, CurrentC had been seen as a rival to Apple Inc’s Apple Pay and one of several promising entrants in the crowded mobile payments space. But the recent rollout of Walmart Pay and the moves of Target and others have raised questions about its strategy of focusing on the retail industry.

In October MCX signed a deal with JPMorgan Chase & Co. to accept payment through the bank’s technology.

“Utilizing unique feedback from the marketplace and our Columbus pilot, MCX has made a decision to concentrate more heavily in the immediate term on other aspects of our business, including working with financial institutions,” Mooney said in the statement.

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