The mobile Internet revolution is rapidly changing the longstanding status quo in the payment processing industry. As more people purchase items with their mobile devices, the public is demanding more options and greater security from transaction processing companies. For many long years, big banks and processing companies like Visa and Mastercard faced little competition and were free to change processing fees at will. Today, the upstart MCX network is making a strong bid to compete in e-wallet services. This consortium of retailers recently added Kohl’s to its roster of members. The cooperative already includes major players like Walmart, Target and Best Buy. Formed in August 2012, MCX has stated its intention to better protect consumer data, lower processing fees and otherwise improve conditions for mobile shoppers.
In many ways, MCX represents the most forward-looking hopes of the retail industry. Though the network is not fully operational, industry watchers are fascinated by the ways that MCX could change the e-commerce landscape. In its bid to create a viable alternative payment network, MCX seeks to emulate the success of Paypal, the most successful independent online transaction processor. With its focus on mobile purchasing, MCX shows a feel for the developing trends of modern commerce. As the battle over mobile payment fees heats up, many consumers aren’t aware of how their payment choices effect the underlying struggle for lower fees in the mobile commerce sector.
Increasingly, large banks and financial companies are bringing enormous resources to bear in their efforts to woo mobile consumers and prolong their dominance. While these large institutions are currently making concessions to secure their position in mobile payments, one could persuasively argue that more choice will lead to greater satisfaction for participants in mobile commerce.
Of course, MCX faces an uphill battle in its quest to change modern payments. Major banks and Interchange processors have rallied around Paydiant, the mainstream platform for e-wallet services. Though far from perfect, Paydiant has won broad acceptance for its widespread relevance and ease of use. Over the next few years, the competition between MCX and Paydiant will represent one front in the all-out war to control and define mobile payments. At the same time, Paypal will likely make every effort to extend its commanding position into the mobile commerce sector. While Google Wallet has yet to make major gains in mobile processing, it is never wise to underestimate the potential of this groundbreaking corporation.
Every month, dramatic numbers of people start using mobile payments to purchase goods and services. Familiar with brands like Visa and Mastercard, many of these consumers will gravitate towards Paydiant. At the same time, MCX has hired media-savvy personnel to potentially launch their brand into global prominence. If any group has a real chance of changing the status quo of modern transaction processing, it is MCX.
Compared to monolithic financial companies, retailers are arguably better poised to meet the changing needs of modern consumers. Only time will tell which mobile processing network will achieve the same kind of dominance that Paypal has realized in online payment processing. Though consumers are fairly loyal to major financial brands like Visa, the new decade tells a tale of increased public hunger for technological innovation and greater choice. Whoever succeeds in dominating mobile online payments, it is likely that consumers will experience a new era of speedy, secure transactions. As mobile devices continue to revolutionize modern culture, people from all walks of life will learn to appreciate the ease and convenience of doing business through cell phones and mobile devices. Experts can only guess at how many middle-class consumers will ultimately execute most of their daily payments online.