Giant US retailers to create mobile payments network | Mobile Payments | Mobile Entertainment

Giant US retailers to create mobile payments network

Giant US retailers to create mobile payments network
Tim Green


Payments / August 15th 2012 at 11:10AM

Wal-Mart Stores, Target Corp and 7-Eleven form Merchant Customers Exchange.

After Google Wallet, Square/Starbucks and Isis, 14 of the US's most powerful merchants have decided to make mobile payments a little more complicated.

The Wall Street Journal has spoken to insiders who say the members are working on what sounds like an NFC-based service that pushes offers to a smartphone app and lets users pay or redeem by tapping on a reader in store.

Other big names among the 14 include Best Buy, Lowe's, Royal Dutch Shell, Sears, Darden Restaurants and Autogrill.

Further details are expected today.

It's not hard to see the rationale behind this. Google desperately wants to 'own' the consumer's entire journey from online search to physical store sale.

The operators would also like a piece of this, which is why so many have boycotted Google Wallet and formed Isis.

Merchants understandably believe the customer 'belongs' to them. Which is why Starbucks built its own system and then, last week, aligned with Square.

This new consortium represents a powerful rearguard action against OTT firms and operators. It's not clear yet how the merchants are planning to process transactions.