MCX CEO on Apple Pay exclusivity: “Months, not years”

Writing for ReCode, Walt Mossberg lays out his thoughts on MCX and their anti-Apple Pay tactics. You no doubt know all the details (if not, click here).

CVS had no comment for this article, but MCX did grant me an interview.

When I asked the CEO of the MCX consortium, Dekkers Davidson, what he and the consortium were afraid of, he said, “nothing.” In fact, he said that eventually there ought to be multiple “compelling” mobile payments systems.

However, Davidson explained, MCX insisted on exclusivity for now, to provide “breathing room” for the development of CurrentC. When I asked whether that meant the merchants didn’t want another system to catch on, he said no, and repeatedly explained what a massive undertaking CurrentC is. He added that the exclusivity rule would expire in “months, not years.”

And this nugget:

Davidson flatly denied that MCX had ordered CVS to turn off Apple Pay, and he speculated that CVS might have simply done so because it had signed the exclusivity policy. He noted that one MCX member, the family-owned Midwest supermarket chain Meijer, hasn’t shut off Apple Pay.

Is there a difference? If the agreement with CVS specifically calls for exclusivity, that’s equivalent to an order for exclusivity. And if they acknowledge exclusivity, why make the case that Meijer did not adhere to that policy? I can only imagine what’s going on in the MCX boardroom right now. Fear, confusion, and a lot of finger pointing.