March 15, 2017
By: Mike Dautner
In the late 1990s, the Doonesbury comic strip featured Mike Doonesbury climbing to economic success on the strength of one idea, purchased from a pair of collegiate slackers: to buy up the furniture, ideas, and intellectual property of failed dot-com firms for literal pennies, sometimes on the dollar. Doonesbury called his enterprise MyVulture, and it took off in a big way.
Chase recently pulled off a deal that Mike himself might have been proud to call his own, setting up a deal in which it landed the technology that would have been a part of the CurrentC system from the Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX).
CurrentC, originally designed to take some of the heat away from Apple’s Apple Pay solution, lost much of its support after several MCX members set up their own deals with competing platforms or attempted to build their own.
Now, with Chase in control of MCX technology, the company plans to use those systems to further develop its own Chase Pay line of solutions. Chase Pay will be able to reach more merchants, potentially even those who are already in the MCX.
Indeed, reports note that several MCX members either already have Chase Pay—like Best Buy—or will have it over the next year or so, including Shell and Walmart.
Chase Pay lead Jennifer Roberts noted “When we think about ‘fintech’, we go through a ‘build/buy/partner’ evaluation to decide how we can get to market most efficiently. MCX has been an important partner, and their technology complements ours, so we’re thrilled to deepen our relationships with the merchant community through the purchase of this technology. This will help us get to market faster.”
Granted, Chase Pay is already in the market, as evidenced by the locations it’s accepted. However, this will serve as a means to get out faster using a ready-made infrastructure developed by some of the biggest names in retail, who likely won’t have much of a problem accepting it in their own stores as they had something of a hand in developing it.
Chase has hit on a masterstroke here, and now may have the key to delivering value on a large scale thanks to what’s left of CurrentC and the Chase Pay mechanisms already in place.