A new cooperative company called Merchant Customer Exchange, or MCX, formed this past August in an effort to offer wide-reaching acceptance of mobile payments. The company currently comprises 21 participating merchants, including Wal-Mart, Target, Sears, Lowes and CVS – and that list is growing.

As the number of mobile payment-ready point-of-sale terminals increases, customer adoption is becoming an important focus for retailers; and adoption begins with defining the user’s experience and ensuring it’s a good one. Check out Entrust Datacard list of the top 5 attributes that contribute to creating a positive mobile wallet experience for consumers:

  1. Increased Portability
    Leveraging mobile wallets can make the need for carrying multiple plastic cards for various accounts obsolete by linking accounts to a single mobile device. This improved portability provides cardholders with easier access to a greater number of accounts, ranging from credit, debit and prepaid to merchant-specific.
  2. Greater Flexibility
    In addition to tapping into traditionally card-based accounts, mobile wallets can also provide access to online payment methods like PayPal, making it easier for consumers to choose among a wide range of payment options at the point of sale.
  3. Faster Transaction Time
    With the increasing availability of mobile devices enabled with Near Field Communication (Nlist iFC) technology, consumers can simply tap or wave the phone in front of an NFC reader to complete a purchase. This type of payment can shave up to 30 seconds off transaction time compared to swiping a card and signing the receipt or entering a PIN. Saving just a few seconds at point of sale can be valuable in scenarios where speed is critical, such as mass transit.
  4. Heightened Security
    NFC mobile technology can enable dynamic authentication, which utilizes unique data for each transaction to deter fraudulent transactions. NFC-enabled merchant terminals will be able to communicate with the chip to perform dynamic authentication. In addition, password protection of the phone and payment application provides an extra layer of security not available in card-based payments. Advances in mobile technology may also enable facial recognition technology in the not-so-distant future.
  5. Comparable Costs
    While the up-front costs of purchasing mobile devices equipped with NFC technology is high, as the technology becomes more mainstream, the ongoing costs of mobile wallets are equal to or below those of traditional card-based methods. Most consumers with mobile data plans will not see an increase in costs. Generally, account fees such as interest payments are the same whether the transaction is completed via mobile device or physical card.

Though details of how MCX’s application works are yet to be announced, the company has stated that services will be available through virtually any smartphone.
How is your organization leveraging mobile wallet technology to improve your customer experience? Tell us about it with a comment!

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