Circle K Joins MCX

Mobile commerce payments initiative taps FIS to power network

LAVAL, Quebec -- Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc.'s Circle K in the United States is the latest convenience store merchant to join its ranks of the Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX) mobile wallet initiative. Kohl's Department Stores has also joined MCX.

MCX also has announced that it has selected FIS, a major provider of banking and payments technology, to provide a suite of services that will help bring its mobile commerce solution to the marketplace.

Kohl's and Couche-Tard rank 20th and 76th, respectively, on the National Retail Federation's list of the top 100 merchants by revenue, meaning MCX now counts eight of the top 20 and more than 20% of the top 100 merchants as members.

Collectively, MCX's 30-plus merchants operate nearly 90,000 stores and process more than $1 trillion in payments annually.

In the convenience and fuel channels, members include 7-Eleven Inc., Dallas; Alon Brands, Dallas; Pacific Convenience & Fuels LLC, Pleasanton, Calif.; Phillips 66, Houston; QuikTrip Corp., Tulsa, Okla; RaceTrac Petroleum Inc., Atlanta; Sheetz Inc., Altoona, Pa.; Shell Oil Products US, Houston; Sunoco Inc., Philadelphia; Wawa Inc., Wawa, Pa.; and others.

Major nonconvenience merchants include Walmart and Target, as well as Banana Republic, Baskin Robbins, Bed Bath & Beyond, Best Buy, Buy Buy Baby, Christmas Tree Shops, CVS, Darden Restaurants, Dick's Sporting Goods, Dillard's, Dunkin' Brands, Face Values, Gap, HMSHost, Hobby Lobby, Hy-Vee, Kmart, Lowe's, Meijer, Michaels, Old Navy, Price Rite, Publix Super Markets, Sam's Club, Sears, Shop Rite and Wakefern Foods.

FIS will provide MCX with world-class payment processing, routing and settlement for mobile commerce transactions. FIS' technology will integrate with the mobile wallet software that Gemalto is developing for MCX. By leveraging FIS' payments network infrastructure to authorize and execute transactions in real-time, MCX is dedicated to secure and instantaneous payments for their solution, it said.

MCX will offer consumers a personalized payment experience complete with offers, promotions, loyalty and other services.

"Today's consumers are increasingly mobile centric and expect to leverage their mobile devices to perform a wide variety of financial services transactions. FIS is investing in true payments innovation that creates new revenue opportunities for our clients while delivering a functionally rich experience for the customers they serve. We're pleased MCX has chosen to leverage FIS' payments network technology to deliver a seamless mobile commerce experience for millions of U.S. consumers that shop at these nationwide merchants," said Nancy Langer, executive vice president of money movement for FIS.

"A growing list of America's favorite brands, including Kohl's, Southwest Airlines, Chili's Grill & Bar, and so many others, along with our elite technology partners, FIS and Gemalto, are the latest signs of strong momentum as MCX brings a widely accepted, securely delivered and customer-focused mobile payment solution to the marketplace," said Dodd Roberts, MCX executive.

Founded in 2012, MCX seeks to lead the shift to mobile payments by providing better shopping and paying experiences for customers and merchants alike. Its owner-members include leaders in the big-box, convenience, drug, fuel, grocery, quick-service and full-service dining, specialty-retail and travel categories. The company is based in Coppell, Texas.

Laval, Quebec-based Couche-Tard's network currently includes approximately 6,200 c-stores throughout North America, including approximately 4,500 stores with fuel. It has agreements for the supply of motor fuel to more than 350 sites operated by independent operators. Its North American network consists of 13 business units, including nine in the United States covering 40 states and the District of Columbia (under the Circle K banner) and four in Canada covering all 10 provinces (under the Couche-Tard and Mac's banners).