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Cards Corner: What is the Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX)?

New payments technology continues to evolve, but strong cards programs can thrive in competition

By: Amy MacMullen, Director of Card Services

June 16, 2014

Amy MacmullenThe world of payments technology is constantly evolving. In the Cards Corner appearing in the March issue of Solutions, I discussed the new EMV chip cards that are set to replace the static magnetic strip cards in 2015. With that new technology announced, Corporate One, along with PSCU held its first EMV seminar earlier this month to help credit unions mitigate their cards program to the new EMV technology. Just as we got members educated on EMV, increased hype has surfaced about a new payments player, mobile wallets, most notably being created by Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX).

So what is MCX? It’s a recently formed coalition of more than 70 leading merchants, leveraging technology to create a mobile-commerce solution. The group consists of big-name merchants, including Wal Mart Stores Inc, Target Corp, 7-Eleven Inc and Dunkin’ Brands Group Inc. The promise of this solution has generated momentum for MCX and interest in the group from many other merchants, possibly over the interchange fee battle with card networks. MCX intends to change the payments status quo with a secure, customer-focused mobile wallet that has a common set of standards.

While MCX is up-and-coming, many payment industry executives say the mobile trend is taking off more slowly than anticipated, in part because consumers feel no urgency to replace their plastic cards and debit cards. So for consumers’ content with their plastic cards, now is a good time to ensure your cards program is as strong as it can be, including things such as a robust rewards program, engagement campaigns, etc. If your credit union offers a strong cards program, then you’ll still be “top of wallet” in your cardholder’s minds and easily compete with new payments competition and emerging technologies.

Corporate One offers a variety of cards and cards rewards solutions. Credit unions offering rewards typically see higher transaction levels, increased member loyalty and cross selling opportunities. Our rewards program is flexible and customizable so that your credit union sets its own reward rates and redemption policy for cash back, merchandise and/or other travel options. If you haven’t yet taken advantage of one of our programs, then you’re missing out on an opportunity to earn revenue while strengthening member relationships through our best-in-class cardholder benefits. Give me a call and we can discuss what program will be best for your membership, and how your credit union can maintain its competitiveness in light of other technologies, such as MCX, as they come to market. I can be reached at 866/MyCorp1, ext. 9339.


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