Exactly one year ago today, rapper, fashion entrepreneur, fragrance mogul, self-described genius and Kardashian husband Kanye West shocked the payments world with the announcement of his proprietary mobile wallet – KanPay.
At the time of the announcement, West noted that payments presented “the biggest canvas for innovation for entrepreneurs today,” and noted it was his intention to make the entire ecosystem “just a little more baller.”
Now West is back with his latest announcement: MCX/XL — what he is calling the next evolution of the mobile wallet.
“When we started KanPay we wanted to change the way people pay,” West said in a press conference. “Now, as we are evolving into MCX/XL, we want to change the way commerce in America is done.”
“What’s commerce?” Kim Kardashian West reportedly asked from the audience, prompting West to momentarily put his head in his hands.
“It’s shopping, baby – it’s a fancier word for shopping. Don’t you own a store? You know what — you’re so, so pretty. Why don’t you come stand up here with me? Good girl.”
After the momentary disruption, West went on to describe how the new MCX/XL commerce platform would function.
“At base,” he told reporters, “there will still be the KanPay functionality that we’ve all fallen in love with over the last year – the easy onboarding, tokenized data security package, biometric authentication and, of course, the rewards program.”
The rewards program West is referring to gives KanPay users cash back for buying items that keep life just a little more baller – including Dom Pérignon, Bentleys and the $120 Kanye West Hip Hop T-shirt (it’s a plain white T-shirt).
“But I realized that I didn’t want to just build the greatest mobile wallet in history – I want to build the biggest, the baddest, the boldest and the best mobile commerce system in history – and that means one word folks — exclusivity.”
MCX/XL isn’t a mobile platform for everyone you see.
“It’s for, like, rich and awesome people,” Kim Kardashian West broke in during the press conference.
“Ignition, I got that all wrapped up. All I need for ignition,” West interjected, “is my baby, Kim, right here. That woman can spend more money in 15 minutes than half of the U.S. does in three months.”
West went on describe how MCX/XL is not a product for everyone, and in fact only users that meet certain income, attractiveness and “coolness” metrics will be able to download the mobile app onto their customized phone – the kPhone.
“I mean, the iPhone, please, my gardener has an iPhone – this is proprietary piece of technology with the next generation bio-authentication technology that not only can verify that the user is who they say they are, but also if the user is cool enough, rich enough and attractive enough to be using the phone or the mobile products installed on it.”
West confirmed that early users of the phone are himself, Kim, the entire Kardashian family (minus Khloe), Skrillex, Jack Nicholson, the entire Obama family, Beyonce, Gisele Bündchen, Justin Timberlake, Vladimir Putin (who West noted is “so much cooler than you think”) and Amal Alamuddin Clooney.
George Clooney is reportedly on the waiting list.
The MCX/XL brand so far is accepted at an exclusive, small list of very expensive online retailers, which has led to scrutiny from some industry watchers.
“This is definitely not a valid path to ignition,” said MPD founder Dr. David Evans. “I mean, remember when I said Apple had an unusual ignition strategy? Yeah, this is just straight up idiocy. I would say a payment system based on whipping rocks at people’s heads would actually have a better chance at wide ignition.”
However, others were intrigued by West’s innovative ways. One analyst wrote that West’s move was “bold, inspired and perhaps marking a new path on how to ignite a mobile wallet – make the people beg you for it. It’s easy to write off visionaries like Kanye West – but really, could you build an authentication system that evaluated people’s coolness? Kanye did it.”
When pressed for reactions, different players in the payments ecosystem offered wildly different responses.
Huh?” An Apple representative was reported to have said. “I literally have no idea what any of what you just said meant. I thought Kanye West was a rapper?”
“Yeah we obviously have much more serious problems right now,” said a Google representative.
“We support anything that makes us look like the mature, rational people in a space populated by people that don’t know payments,” said a PayPal rep.
“I gotta admit, supersizing MCX might not be a bad idea. I mean, after all, what better way to recruit merchants than to say that Kim Kardashian and her followers will be their new customers,” MCX CEO Dekkers Davidson reportedly said.
The kPhone will be available, with the entire MCX/XL mobile suite, in stores nationwide starting next week. To purchase one, potential customers must take selfies. If the phone deems them worthy, they can buy it and then activate the mobile payments scheme.
Editor’s Note: This article is part of the PYMNTS.com special April Fools’ edition. Any connection to fact is purely coincidental.