As the mobile payments race heats up, JPMorgan Chase has become the latest to announce its own entry. The company has announced its own mobile payments platform, fittingly titled Chase Pay, which is set to launch sometime in mid-2016. In an interview with Reuters, Chase executive Gordon Smith says that the Chase Pay service will initially be available for those who already do business with the bank:
Chase Pay will initially work for consumers that already have Chase credit, debit, and prepaid cards, Smith told Reuters in an interview. There are about 94 million of those cards outstanding now in the United States, and the bank has more spending on them than any other issuer. The app will work on Apple and Android-based phones.
To power its mobile payments, Chase has teamed up with the Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX), which is a group composed of a number of retailers, including Walmart and Best Buy. One of the most notable aspects of MCX's mobile payments system is that it relies on QR codes rather than tokenized NFC transactions, so it's likely Chase Pay will operate in a similar manner. While the app will work on iOS devices, it will be interesting to see if it represents any real threat to Apple Pay, which is already ingrained at the system level.