Light Reading

Retailers Join to Boost (or Fragment) mCommerce

Sarah Reedy
8/15/2012
50%
50%
Repost This

12:25 PM -- Wal-Mart, Best Buy, 7-Eleven and Target are among the big-name retailers teaming up to take on the wireless operators and Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) in the crowded mobile commerce market.

The companies, along with 11 others, announced the formation of the Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX) on Wednesday. The venture plans to build a mobile app that will let customers make payments, redeem coupons and rebates and store their loyalty program information on their smartphones.

When I saw this news, I thought, "Great, the retailers are an important piece of the value chain for mobile payments." But, then I realized that the MCX is being positioned as a competitor to Google, operator initiatives like Isis and even Square Inc. and other credit-card company services, rather than a link in the chain. Now, it just seems like yet another half-baked solution in an increasingly congested market. (See Mobile Commerce Sidesteps the Carriers , Learning to Play Nice With NFC and Verizon Blocking Google Wallet? Poor Decision.)

Sure, the retailers -- which do a combined $1 trillion in yearly sales -- are powerful players since they own the point-of-sale and decide what credit cards to accept. But, it seems to me they would be much better off working with other players in the market to make existing services more robust and, importantly, widely accepted. (See Mobile Money: What's the End Game? )

I understand that everyone -- wireless operators, software companies, handset makers and vendors are guilty too -- wants to be the mCommerce leader rather than just one part of the puzzle, but it's frustrating to see the market becoming so fragmented before it has even taken off.

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile

(1)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Snuffaluffagus
50%
50%
Snuffaluffagus,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:23:49 PM
re: Retailers Join to Boost (or Fragment) mCommerce


This makes sense to me.  You see it as fragmentation, I see it as retailers finally controlling thier own fate.  MCX will most likely be ran as a non profit or minimal profit organization.  This could potentially give the retailers at least $10 Billion more in profits.


Typical Visa/MC/AMEX and I suspect mobile providers/Google take 3-5% of sales.  MCX with no profit motive could likely do this for no more than 2%.  Leaving at a minimum 1% or $10 Billion in the retailers pocket.


Plus they plan to make this an all inclusive app that has store coupons, loyalty program etc.  Mobile operators like Google/VZ/ATT are only interested in taking a cut of the sales and not in their loyalty programs or coupons leaving this to others to handle.  I believe the average consumer would prefer to have single app that does everything for them with retailers and not have to deal with multiple apps.

More Blogs from Light Reedy
While the operators remain quiet on 4G voice, WhatsApp is plowing full steam ahead -- with or without their involvement.
COO Kevin Hankins talks to Light Reading about the carrier's loyalty and rewards program and the opportunity in bridging the chasm between networks and IT.
The big four US operators managed to add 800,000 post-paid subscribers in the past three months, but the scales are tipping in T-Mobile's favor.
Social enterprise vendor Lithium snaps up Klout to add its social influence scoring system to its arsenal of customer experience management tools.
The CCA's biggest members, Sprint and T-Mobile, are friends with the smaller carriers, but would they turn foe if they joined forces?
Flash Poll
LRTV Documentaries
Cable Eyes Big Technology Shifts

4|16|14   |   03:02   |   (4) comments


US cable engineers are facing a lot of heavy lifting in the coming years, notes Light Reading Cable/Video Practice Leader Alan Breznick.
LRTV Custom TV
Maximizing Customer Experience & Assuring Service Delivery in an IP World

4|15|14   |   4:57   |   (0) comments


Steven Shalita, VP of Marketing, NetScout Systems, Inc., discusses the challenges cable/MSO operators face in assuring the delivery of new IP-based services. Key points include the value of proactively managing performance, and using rich analytics and operational intelligence to better understand service and usage trends, make smarter business decisions and ...
LRTV Documentaries
Bye-Bye DVD: Consumers Embrace Digital Video

4|10|14   |   04:17   |   (7) comments


Veteran video analyst Colin Dixon, founder and principal analyst of nScreenMedia, says research shows 56% are using digital video already.
LRTV Documentaries
Video: TW Cable Puts Multicast Gateways to the Test

4|8|14   |   04:13   |   (1) comment


Tom Gonder, a chief architect at Time Warner Cable, explains how its trial of multicast gateways is impacting IP-based video plans.
LRTV Custom TV
Managing & Monetizing Big Data in Operator Environments

4|7|14   |     |   (1) comment


At Mobile World Congress, Gigamon's Director of Service Provider Solutions, Andy Huckridge, and Heavy Reading Analyst Sarah Wallace discuss the 'big data' issues facing carriers and operators today.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Data Center Energy – Build Your Data Center in a Modular Way

4|7|14   |   2:13   |   (0) comments


Dr. Fang Liangzhou, VP Network Energy Product Line, shared his thoughts about the challenges for data centers during CeBIT 2014.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Agile Network Solution – An Overview of Huawei's Agile Network Solution

4|7|14   |   2:31   |   (0) comments


Ajay Gupta, Director of Product Marketing, Networking Product Line, gives an overview of the Agile Network Solutions during CeBIT 2014.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei’s eLTE Voice Trunking, Video and Data Applied for Railways

4|7|14   |   1:38   |   (0) comments


Gottfried Winter is the Sales Director at Funkwerk, a German specialist in GSM-r terminals and a long-time partner of Huawei. At CeBIT 2014, Winter talks to Light Reading about this partnership and the integration of enhanced voice trunking, video and data functions.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
LeaseWeb Speaks Highly of Huawei's Datacenter Products

4|7|14   |   1:37   |   (0) comments


Rene Olde Olthof, Operations Director LeaseWeb, talks about the next data center transformation during CeBIT 2014.
LRTV Documentaries
Comcast: Reshaping the Cable Network Architecture

4|3|14   |   07:11   |   (8) comments


Shamim Akhtar, Comcast's architect and senior director of network strategy, explains why the cable company is moving to a more distributed network architecture.
LRTV Custom TV
VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger at Mobile World Congress

4|1|14   |   3:41   |   (0) comments


VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger speaks to Heavy Reading about the value of virtualization spanning from the data center to service provider networks to mobile devices.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Analysts' Impressions of Huawei SoftCOM at ONS 2014

4|1|14   |   1:11   |   (0) comments


After visiting the Huawei booth at ONS, Lee Doyle of Doyle Research gives his appraisal of Huawei's SoftCOM solution.
Hot Topics
BlackBerry Invests in Healthcare IT Startup
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 4/15/2014
Volvo: AT&T HSPA+ Can Drive My Car
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 4/16/2014
T-Mobile Petitions Operators to Kill Overages
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 4/14/2014
Cisco & VMware Are Apple & Google of SDN
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 4/14/2014
Mobile Apps Susceptible to Heartbleed, Too
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 4/14/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed