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US retailers select barcode and cloud-based payment tech

Richard Handford


MCX, the group of leading US retailers set up to develop a mobile payment service that includes Walmart and Target, has chosen barcode and cloud-based technology for its initial deployment.

The group says its service will be “primarily” barcode and cloud-based, allowing it to work on “the broadest array of smartphones and at a wide range of merchant locations”.

The news is a blow to NFC, although MCX does say the choice refers to its initial deployment – potentially leaving the door open.

The choice of barcode-based payments will enable retailers to deploy a system without major new capital expenditure, says MCX, explaining a prime motivation in making its choice.

MCX was set up to reduce its members’ dependency on leading card companies such as Visa and MasterCard. Running their own system also enables MCX to keep tighter control of customer’s shopping data, a valuable commodity.

News of the venture first leaked out via media reports in March 2012.

The venture is also a blow to mobile payment services offered by the likes of Isis, Google Wallet and PayPal, who would like MCX’s members as their customers.

Starbucks has already proved with its popular mobile payment service, which enables users to pay by scanning QR code (2D barcodes) on their handsets, that such a low-tech approach has potential.

MCX made a statement about its technology choice at the National Retail Federation Convention & Expo, which was first reported by NFC Times.


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