Chase Pay chases after the mobile payment dream

One of the side effects of making mobile payment more mainstream is that soon there will be too many players in the market than you can count. While there are of course some heavyweights like Apple Pay and Android Pay or even Samsung Pay, there will always be some who want a large share of the pie. Take for example JPMorgan Chase, whose new, somewhat aptly named Chase Pay platform promises that holy grail of mobile payment systems: convenience to customers at now extra cost to merchants.

Chase promises fixed pricing, no network fees, no merchant processing fees, and no merchant fraud liability. And if that weren't enough, Chase Pay utilizes the same technology already used by merchants for gift cards: barcode and QR code scanners. Meaning, unlike NFC-based payment systems, no additional equipment is required.

Sounds great? Perhaps. Other than the supposed benefit of scanning codes, Chase Pay sounds pretty much like any of the major payment systems, both in terms of promised security and ubiquity. Truth be told, however, scannable codes aren't exactly the most secure technology and merchants might be trading in security for convenience.

Chase Pay of course only works with Chase accounts, which might not be a problem if the claim that half the households in the US are Chase customers. As for actual merchants supporting Chase Pay, Chase has started the ball rolling with MCX, the industry group that includes Walmart, Target, Best Buy, and Shell. In fact, anywhere MCX's CurrentC payments platform is accepted will also be able to accept Chase Pay. They can do directly or through the CurrentC mobile app.

Chase Pay's announcement is just the tip of the iceberg and we expect more to follow suit in the near future, perhaps even while holding hands with Apple and Google at the same time. It won't be until the middle of 2016 before we see Chase Pay fully take off, however, and by then we might already see the key players in this still nascent market.