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  • Apple Pay Competitor, CurrentC, to Launch its "Trial Run" Next Month

    The MCX-consortium developed CurrentC mobile payment platform, which is backed by several major US retailers, will reportedly see an initial trial run in August. The announcement helps to signal that the service is approaching a public launch. The trial is set to be limited to three sources explained to Bloomberg, although they didn’t mention details.

    A spokeswoman for one company in the MCX consortium, Lowe’s said that a CurrentC app would be launching sometime in the September quarter. MCX COO Scott Rankin confirmed that the tests are starting this year and that the consortium is “making good” progress on the app. He added the following regarding the matter:

    We expect there to be more than one successful player in mobile payments, and we expect to be one of them.
    For those of you who didn’t know, CurrentC was created as a way for retailers to reduce fees paid to credit card companies and other financial services. It even has the backing of businesses such as Best Buy, Walmart, CVS and Wendy’s. The service should not only function as a mobile payment solution but also hold on to customer data, something they stand to lose if other mobile payment platforms catch on. That being said, it does seem to face several serious problems such as a potential lack of confidence, which is owed to a 2014 security breach, and no support for credit card or debit cards other than store-issued ones. The only alternative to the solution as of right now is to give MCX direct access to a checking account.

    As of right now, the biggest barrier for the solution is other rival mobile payment platforms, more importantly Apple Pay and Android Pay. The former has gained significant traction already and Android Pay will likely launch alongside the next version of Android, set to launch later this year. Since the platforms are being integrated into popular mobile devices, there will be little reason to install another app, in this case CurrentC, unless one of the retailers is just simply not accepting alternatives.

    In an effort to protect its position, MCX did impose a three-year exclusivity agreement on participating merchants but Bloomberg noted that the agreements are set to end in August. Furthermore, one of the MCX retailers, Best Buy, already announced that they would be supporting Apple Pay by the end of 2015, which doesn’t bode well for CurrentC.

    Ultimately we’ll just have to wait and see.

    Source: Bloomberg
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Apple Pay Competitor, CurrentC, to Launch its "Trial Run" Next Month started by Akshay Masand View original post
    Comments 2 Comments
    1. qumahlin's Avatar
      qumahlin -
      It will be a failure and everyone knows it. Multiple partners other than Best Buy have already said they will be supporting Apple Pay at the end of the year, and then you have other partners who have dropped out of the MCX altogether due to the exclusivity agreements. The penalty of dropping out of the MCX? They won't let you back in and should CurrentC become popular you won't be able to take advantage, no big loss there.

      The biggest issue they have is they literally tout no consumer benefits whatsoever. All they do is discuss how stores won't have to pay transaction fees and will save money...none of these stores have discussed passing any of those savings on to consumers. They see it as a pure cut to COG. So the current sales pitch to get consumers to use the app is essentially "Think about all the money you could be saving Walmart!"
    1. csglinux's Avatar
      csglinux -
      Nicely put, qumahlin :-) Here's to hoping that consumers win out and CurrentC quickly crashes and burns.