Slideshow 6 Milestones in Chase Pay's development

Published
  • June 10 2016, 10:24am EDT
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JPMorgan Chase has yet to launch its Chase Pay wallet app, but it's lining up some formidable allies. The wallet's underlying technology was years in the making, giving Chase an edge in winning merchant partners while tapping into a sizable consumer base.

Shell

The recently announced deal with Shell demonstrates how Chase has begun filling a void left by the MCX CurrentC mobile wallet, which had the support of numerous large merchants. Shell was previously signed on to support CurrentC, which shuts down at the end of June after a yearlong pilot.

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Starbucks

Starbucks has been aggressive with its mobile wallet strategy, but selective with its partnerships. That makes its pact with Chase Pay all the more relevant, since it gives Chase access to an audience that is extremely enthusiastic about mobile payments.

MCX

The Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX) is linking its network of retailers to Chase Pay, giving the mobile wallet access to more than 100,000 U.S. locations and the merchants lower transaction fees. At the time of the October announcement, MCX had not yet announced the sunset of its CurrentC wallet, suggesting that Chase Pay and CurrentC might have been meant to coexist.

ChaseNet

ChasePay is built on ChaseNet, which the bank describes as a closed-loop payment system because it owns the consumer and merchant relationships. "It is a simplification of an ecosystem. It takes a traditional five-party acquiring system and takes it down to three," said Kimberly Fitzsimmons, U.S. market president for Chase Merchant Services (pictured).

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Visa

ChaseNet has its roots in a 10-year partnership that Chase and Visa began in 2013. The pact's goal was to enable Chase to build a direct relationship with the merchant, giving the bank control of pricing.

Card Counting

Chase Pay is tied to the issuer's 94 million credit, debit and prepaid card accounts, representing half of U.S. households. Depending on the perspective, this means Chase's wallet either starts with — or excludes — half of the market. It's a risky strategy, given that closed-loop wallets have not fared well in the past.