One of the more difficult and most important aspects of building a successful mobile wallet is ensuring that consumers can use it with the payment cards and mobile devices they want to use. By forming agreements with fourteen major card issuers and Verizon Wireless to support their mobile wallet, Samsung Pay as greatly expanded their potential user base. Similarly, through partnerships with Chase Pay and an ACH-based mobile payment service, MCX looks to make their CurrentC mobile wallet more attractive to consumers and merchants in advance of their full launch sometime next year.
Samsung Pay launched in the U.S. at the end of September ready to work with cards issued by American Express, Bank of America, Citi and U.S. Bank. The company announced at the Money 20/20 conference in late October that agreements with 14 more major issuers would bring many more options to Samsung Pay users in terms of what cards they can use with the mobile wallet. While it was announced at launch that Discover credit cards would be ready to work with Samsung Pay by early 2016, the company has now announced that cards issued by Chase, PNC Bank, TD Bank, Suntrust, Fifth Third Bank and several others will ready for use with Samsung Pay by the end of this year.
One aspect of building a successful mobile wallet is to make sure consumers can use the payment cards or other payment instruments they prefer to use, but another important consideration are hardware requirements for the consumer. At launch Samsung Pay could be used with a few Galaxy S6 and Note5 model smartphones operating on the AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint and U.S. Cellular networks. Verizon, with over 100 million postpaid subscribers, was notably missing, but on October 21st the companies announced their partnership that would allow Verizon customers to use to Samsung Pay on eligible phones.
In other mobile wallet news, Chase announced a mobile wallet of their own, Chase Pay, and unexpectedly included MCX, or the Merchant Consumer Exchange, as a launch partner. MCX started a limited trial in September with their mobile wallet, CurrentC, in Columbus, Ohio.
The Chase Pay-MCX partnership benefits both parties. By the time of CurrentC’s full launch consumers with payment cards issued by Chase will be able to use these cards with the CurrentC mobile wallet. This immediately expands CurrentC’s potential user base as there are 94 million Chase credit and debit cards in the United States. The major benefit for Chase is that anywhere CurrentC is accepted Chase Pay will be accepted too. The MCX network, which includes 70 brands and major merchants like Walmart and Target, plans to have 100,000 merchant locations accepting CurrentC by mid-2016.
MCX additionally formed a new partnership with Buy It Mobile (BIM) Networks, a mobile app and service that lets users pay from their bank accounts. The CEOs of each company gave a joint presentation at Money 20/20 on New Capabilities for ACH at the POS. BIM provides a mobile and web ACH platform for merchants and consumers that will be an integrated part of CurrentC. The platform includes functionality for loyalty programs and coupons and will enable consumers to quickly connect their checking accounts for use with the CurrentC mobile wallet.
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