• Michael Weeding

Holding back the tide

Technology disrupts and as a result things change. So when Taylor Swift pulls out of Spotify or small businesses block Apple Pay is this type of resistance to change as pointless as trying to hold back the tide?

There has been a lot of discussion around the members of Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX) consortium this week who all blocked Apple Pay by taking the action to disable their NFC payment systems as what appeared to be an act to protect their future Mobile payment wallet CurrentC which is due for launch next year.

It was then reported in the New York Times it turns out the real reason for their action was they all signed a contract as far back as 2012 stating that they would not accept competing mobile payment products or they would incur heavy fines.

MCX responded by saying that any merchant is free to leave, but they’re either in or out. If a merchant leaves the program, it will pay no fines and it is free to accept whatever mobile payment system it desires – just not CurrentC. So these retailer have made a bet on consumers adopting only one mobile payment wallet, however you look at it this is just CRAZY!

Taylor Swift has also this week explained why she pulled her music from Spotify claiming she was not willing to dedicate her life’s work to participate in an experiment. With over 10 million paying subscribers many would argue that this music streaming services is far from being an an experiment.

So if we do not like the way things are changing what choice do we all have? Not every music artist around the world can pull out of Spotify particularly if their subscription base continues to grow and every retailer cannot commit to only accepting one consumer mobile payment wallet.

I guess it comes down to the power of one over the power of the masses, but it all feels a bit pointless, a little like thinking you can hold back the tide.


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