CurrentC is no threat to Apple Pay

“With Apple Pay becoming ever more widely adopted by card issuers and more widely accepted by retailers, mobile payments was bound to see new entrants. The latest to emerge is CurrentC, backed by a consortium of retailers such as Wal-Mart and Best Buy It will go live sometime in the middle of the year,” Mark Hibben writes for Seeking Alpha. “Does CurrentC pose a threat Apple Pay? No, it’s hardly credible competition.”

“In effect, the CurrentC app user (there’ll be apps for iOS and Android) is authorizing the CurrentC consortium, Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX) to make an ACH transfer from the customer’s account to the member retailer’s bank. So MCX has to have stored your bank account information, and is involved with every transaction the customer makes with CurrentC,” Hibben writes. “In every important respect – ease of use, privacy and security – CurrentC is inferior to Apple Pay.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple Pay roadkill.

As we wrote earlier this week:

A poor approximation that vaguely resembles something Apple’s already been offering for quite some time. Sounds perfect for Android settlers who are used to trading away their privacy via inferior technology for nothing much in return. Too bad fragmandroid settlers don’t like to spend money. Seems like a poor foundation upon which to build a customer tracking system masquerading as a payment service.

CurrentC. The mobile payment system for the ignorati.

Related articles:
MCX’s convoluted ‘CurrentC’ payment system to test in single market in mid-2015 – April 7, 2015
Apple Pay vs. MCX’s CurrentC: Convenience vs. greed – November 14, 2014
Apple Pay vastly superior and much better positioned than MCX’s CurrentC – November 1, 2014
CurrentC, MCX retailers’ answer to Apple Pay, faces doom – October 31, 2014


  1. Walmart and BestBuy have defined their market: Android for the masses and clueless. Other merchants will define their markets too: Apple for the well heeled and educated. It’s that easy.

    1. I already hate Walmart, drive further out of the way to go to Target when I need to shop that category. Best Buy has not interested me since I made the switch from BluRay and CD’s to iTunes digitals, with their outdated tech and junk it resembles more of a garage sale than any kind of modern tech store. The android fanboys can have those stores.

    2. Don’t buy into the MDN elitism, Defining. While there is demographic data supporting the assertion that Apple users, on average, have more disposable income and years of education than the average Android user, that does not provide justification for making the leap to a two-tier human classification system along the lines of “us” and “them.” Indeed, it is “that easy” to make such a generalization, and the old saw about what is easy tends to be true.

      There are plenty of people without a lot of income who own Apple products. They might have saved for months, picked up a used/refurb unit, etc. To me (and to Apple, I believe), they are equals in the Apple family. Apple is not a religion. We do not need to proselytize. Nor does Apple intend its devices to be status symbols – they are designed to benefit and delight everyone. Some might contend that the new Apple Watch Edition is marketed as a status symbol. But it is important to note that it provides identical functionality as the Apple Watch Sport, but in a fancy gold wrapper. The gold shell is the status symbol.

      The Apple family has been growing for years, and it now envelopes millions of people who have no more idea how their Apple devices work than they did about their Windows computers or Android devices. But the critical factor is that these people chose Apple despite the FUD and the initial cost of entry. That makes them part of the family.

      1. Elitism, in my mind, has nothing to do with it. It is a defining principle: create products that delight people because of their excellent design and quality OR create products that are knock offs of the successful products and race to the bottom on price to gain market share.

        Where do these companies stand on these operating principles and where do their customers stand on the morality of supporting original thinkers or copiers?

    1. Walmart knows what its doing.. they aren’t one the largest chains in the world by not knowing what they are doing…

      The problem is that they don’t like the costs related to credit transactions so they want to withdraw from a bank account, plus get other data they may collect through CurrentC, but once anyone with a brain tries it, its doomed to fail.. Plus, who wants to place routing and account info into an app, specially on Android.

      There are articles about people confused with Apple Pay, and if the utter simplicity of Apple Pay confuses some people, what chance does CurrentC have.. (I think none) But your not going to get Walmart or BB to give up until CurrentC is burning in Flames.. Which hopefully will not take long..

  2. Current C is an insane concept.

    Unlike what drives successful product CC doesn’t put advantages to the customer first.

    Cumbersome, and linking it straight to your bank account (less the Credit card layer of security ) so that Walmart etc CAN MAKE MORE MONEY (no 1-3% credit card charges).

  3. I’m 100% for Apple Pay and for Apple in general. However, you are should not so easily doubt Wal-Mart. They have been wildly successful in the past two decades and have fundamentally changed retail in America. If they pass on the savings of card fees onto customers at launch, a lot of people will sign up.

    1. I doubt they’ll pass those savings on, though its possible on some items with a certain $$ value, they may say, use CurrentC and save 2%, but across the board, shave off the credit fee when you use CurrentC at the register, I think highly unlikely.

    2. If they pass the savings on to the customer’s, then what’s the point??? The whole deal behind CurrentC is to bypass credit cards so that Walmart doesn’t have to pay fees to VISA. If they turn around and pay the same amount to their customers, how are they ahead? It’s not going to increase business — Walmart is already known as the place to go for cheap stuff.


  4. Sure Walmart has made money in the past! Both it and Best Buy are in decline now that buyers are increasingly using the internet to buy with abundant alternatives!
    I do hope Apple gets many more big name sellers on board. The current selection is greatly limited!

  5. There are two major problems with CurrentC, 2 or the biggest retailers involved Walmart and Best Buy seem to have forgotten that most of the their clientele don’t have the money in their bank accounts to buy things, they are living on credit cards. And second but creating a central repository of names, addresses, SSN’s, bank account and routing numbers they are creating a massive hacker target, a holy grail for identity thieves.

  6. There is a big problem with CurrentC. It uses ACH transfers. Under Federal banking regulations, an ACH transfer has only 48 hours to be disputed. After the passage of 48 hours, it is held to be indisputable and the account holder is responsible for any fraud attached to an ACH transfer after 48 hours. The money is unrecoverable from the initiator of the transfer because it is automatically assumed the account holder authorized the transfer. I ran into this when I discovered several charges in our business account from a PC Windows support company in Florida. We use Macs exclusively. . . and have no need for PC Windows support. In fact, we had TWO separate subscriptions with this crooked company made within two minutes of each other. I immediately called my bank and was told there was NOTHING they could do because these were ACH transfers and I was beyond the 48 hour window to put them in contest by almost two weeks. Can you spell “IRATE?”

    After I explained to the bank about the several hundred thousand dollars we had in their bank, they elected to eat the charges for us as an “accommodation” but warned us we needed to check our accounts daily for any unauthorized ACH transfers so we could challenge them in a timely fashion.

    In other words, there is no consumer protection with CurrentC from fraud. The consumer assumes ALL THE RISK of fraud from the use of CurrentC. . . or someone spoofing their CurrentC account. There is no recourse for consumers who use it.

  7. My favorite bit of stupidity regarding CurrentC is how they can’t seem to decide whether the merchant is going to scan the customer’s phone, or the customer is going to scan the merchant’s terminal. It can go either way depending on how the merchant has it set up. This just makes an already sucky system even more confusing. I can’t wait to see some poor grandma with shaky hands trying to hold her phone steady to scan a QR code.


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