MCX taps FIS to power mobile payments, adds Kohl's to retailer ranks


Merchant Customer Exchange--the forthcoming nationwide mobile commerce network spearheaded by retailers including Walmart, Target, Best Buy and 7-Eleven--has selected banking and payments technologies FIS to power consumer purchases across smartphones and tablets.

FIS will deliver services including payment processing, network infrastructure, routing and settlement, enabling MCX partners to authorize and complete transactions in real time. MCX executive Dodd Roberts said the company selected FIS as its payments partner because of the company's payment experience and expertise: FIS serves more than 14,000 financial institutions, retailers and third-party processors in more than 100 countries worldwide.

In April, MCX revealed that its cloud-based mobile wallet will support barcode-enabled transactions and will run on Gemalto's Allynis Mobile Payment platform. MCX also will leverage Gemalto software to offer branded smartphone applications as well as an SDK allowing retailer partners to embed the wallet functionality within their own apps. MCX said that all merchant members will accept the wallet once it is fully deployed: In addition to payment capabilities, the wallet will integrate offers, promotions, loyalty programs and location-based services.

In related news, MCX announced the addition of department store chain Kohl's, the 20th largest retailer in the U.S. in terms of 2013 revenues. Kohl's operates close to 1,150 stores in 49 states.

The MCX partners revealed their m-commerce ambitions in mid-2012. Sources told The Wall Street Journal that the MCX companies--who collectively operate more than 75,000 stores and process more than $1 trillion in annual payments--are displeased by the inroads made by Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), operator-backed Isis and other mobile players, and want to reclaim control over the customer experience.

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