Major retailers to launch mobile app for payments

A new service — to be created jointly by Wal-Mart, Target and other retailers — could give customers an easier way to combine their digital wallet, instant coupons, gift cards and loyalty points in one app.

The announcement by retailers on Wednesday to create the Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX) is also a line in the sand drawn to remind banks, credit card companies, Google, wireless carriers and technology start-ups that they aren’t about to give up control of customers’ wallets without a fight. They also see the technology as a way to cut the fees they pay others for processing customer transactions. “Merchants are saying ‘How do we get in on this?’ ” says Jason Oxman, CEO of the Electronic Transactions Association.