A crack in the consortium

Remember the MCX Consortium, the competing transaction processing system from Walmart, et al? One of their high profile members is Best Buy. As a reminder, there was a lot of discussion when MCX started out about members being restricted from taking Apple Pay.

From today’s Apple earnings call, courtesy of Serenity Caldwell’s transcript:

We’re seeing great momentum with Apple Pay: Discover announced today that its cardmembers in the United States will be able to make contactless payments in participating stores through Apple Pay beginning this Fall. And last month, we said that the number of locations accepting Apple Pay has tripled, and we continue to see great progress with merchants. Best Buy, which has been a longtime strong partner of ours, has just announced that it’s now offering Apple Pay in-app, and later this year will offer Apple Pay in all of their U.S. stores.

This is a pretty solid crack in the consortium.



  • rattyuk

    I think they were all contracted until the middle of this year, this is not a crack but a rending of a group that were contractually not allowed to get involved.

    It would be interesting to see if CVS for example has been hemorrhaging customers to Walgreens who take ApplePay.

    • joebot

      I don’t shop at CVS anyway, there’s no reason to and their expansion into this market irritated me. Walgreens has been here for decades, and CVS’ strategy has very obviously been to be a parasite on the body of Walgreens. Almost all their stores are like a block away from the local Walgreens. I don’t like the vibe of the stores either, they’re depressing. But whatever.

      My actual comment is that Walgreens taking Apple Pay has led me into their store for quick trips more than in the past. I know my transaction will be easy and secure and it’s worked as a selling point for me.

      • And the funny thing over here is that Walgreens has been the one adding stores to the CVS neighborhoods. But, that’s not a new practice for either company. I think it was Wendy’s that did that to McDonalds — let the Golden Arches spend the money to scout the high traffic best locations and then build a store a block down the road.

        I stopped shopping at CVS for about a month after the Apple Pay debacle. But, there’s just too many of them that are too convenient for me. I keep going back. I feel so dirty, but….

        • Burger King. they were the big two rivals during the burger wars…

          • collider

            But the practice of letting the others do the expensive work of finding high traffic sites, then setting up shop on the next corner was perfected by Wendy’s when they were the little guys and didn’t have the budgets of McD’s + BK. The McDonalds/Burger King wars were a whole other ball of wax. This is just my terrible memory speaking, but from what I recall in the 70’s it was rival gas stations that started noticing that setting up across from each other benefitted both. Fast food took it to a whole other level 🙂

    • I have both stores in my area and I pick Walgreens every time now. AP is a value-add.

  • Rob

    “…it’s now offering Apple Pay in-app…”

    If Apple Pay is accepted by just the Best Buy app, but not the B&M stores, then it’s not as big of a crack as one might first think.

    • Tom_P

      The stores will accept it at the end of the year.

    • was the next sentence not in the piece you read?

      and later this year will offer Apple Pay in all of their U.S. stores.
  • Moeskido

    Apple Pay isn’t ever likely to determine where I do in-person shopping as much as price, proximity, and CRM discounts. That said, I’m happy to see events that suggest the decline of a system that requires consumers to disclose far more personal data than should be needed.