Chase is getting into mobile payments with the launch of a new service called Chase Pay.
Thanks to a partnership with retail consortium Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX), the new app will allow customers to make purchases in-stores at 100,000 retail locations throughout the U.S. MCX counts Dunkin Donuts, 7-11, and CVS among its many brands. The company has been planning on launching a wallet app called CurrentC for some time, but has yet to pull the trigger. Chase said it will be rolling out Chase Pay starting in mid-2016.
“Our partnership links Chase and its customer base with CurrentC’s extensive network of leading retailers, restaurants, grocery stores and fueling stations, which process over a trillion dollars in transactions annually,” said Brian Mooney, CEO of MCX, in a prepared statement. “Everywhere CurrentC is accepted, Chase Pay will be accepted.”
The new app comes on the heels of Capital One’s digital wallet launch, as mobile technology companies ranging from Apple to Google and Samsung are hastily building and deploying their own mobile wallets. Though these companies have access to a large pool of users, consumers may be more inclined to use a digital wallet service through a bank, which already handles their financial information, than that of a third party like Apple.
Chase said one out of every two households in the U.S. has a Chase account, giving it plenty of leverage with customers. Plus, Chase Pay utilizes QR-codes rather than near field communication to make transactions, which means it can work on just about any phone.
Merchants may also be keener on bank-issued digital wallets than on services run by tech companies. Chase’s new payment infrastructure will cost merchants a fixed fee to implement, but has no additional costs, like network or processing fees. It will also support retailer-specific loyalty and rewards programs.