Apple Pay is destroying MCX’s CurrentC

“One of the most interesting, least talked about wars in tech is turning into a rout,” Jacob Davidson reports for Money. “Ever since Apple launched Apple Pay last year, the iPhone maker has been waging battle against an unexpected competitor: Walmart. And America’s largest retailer is losing badly.”

“A host of major retailers including Walmart, Target, and CVS… formed a coalition called Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX for short) and vowed to create their own payment service that would compete with credit-card companies,” Davidson reports. “Unfortunately for Walmart, it wasn’t the only one trying to revolutionize how consumers pay for goods. When Apple blew the doors off the mobile payment world last October with the release of Apple Pay, MCX’s payment app, known as CurrentC, was still deep in the testing phase. Worst of all for Walmart and friends, Apple was partnering with the very credit-card payment networks they had hoped to destroy.”

“Now, seven months after Apple Pay debuted, the retailers are still struggling to hold the line,” Davidson reports. “MCX member BestBuy recently announced it would start accepting Apple Pay, and Dekkers Davidson, the group’s chief executive, resigned one day later ‘to pursue other opportunities.” But the internal strife distracts from MCX’s biggest failure: The collective has thus far proved unable to get its app into the marketplace.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: MCX’s convoluted system is DOA.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Dominink P.” for the heads up.]

26 Comments

        1. For those who don’t know the backstory on that scene, I recall that Harrison Ford was ill with the flu that day. The script called for the scene to play out another way, but Ford suggested that he be allowed to just shoot the guy so they could move on. To say that it worked would be an understatement.

      1. damn itchy trigger finger,
        pulling the “post comment” button maneuver before reading my post…
        AGAIN !-)
        (and why must i then point out that i don’t read my post before posting… i wonder… impatient AND unashamed?)

    1. In fairness, the author has a sentence describing that Apple Pay doesn’t give the card number and doesn’t track you, but it very small and easily missed. Basically, most people don’t understand electronic commerce anyway, and they will not understand the nuance of how Apple differs. Add to this mix that a substantial group of Apple-haters exist (that I still don’t understand), and you get that “they all work the same.”

  1. The concept of CurrentC was fine. It cut out the middle man fees paid to the credit card companies. (But I’m not going to pretend I’m an expert at CurrentC details).

    The BIG FAT PROBLEM with CurrentC, from a consumer’s point of view, is that it continues to enable the POS POS Windows Embedded card readers that are the SOURCE of the MILLIONS of stolen customer accounts and credit cards for the last TWO YEARS. These POS POS machine belong in the dumpster. They never were secure. They never will be secure. Grind them into plastic pellets. Recycle them into drink containers. A toast to Pay!

    Target Data Breach @Krebs on Security

    CurrentC: An imaginary crisis

    1. Derek, you missed some other important points about CurrentC:
      1. Their system requires direct access to your bank account so that any transaction is immediately deducted from your bank balance. You have no ability to “float” the transaction for 20-30 days, no access to credit. It’s little different than paying by check or by cash. Credit has been the backbone of the consumer economy.

      2. By having direct access to your bank account, it means that a successful hack of the CurrentC system could raid and empty millions of bank accounts almost instantly. Part of the reason for a credit card fee is to cover the cost of fraud protection. With CurrentC, all the responsibility and cost for fraud protection is dumped in your lap. You lose, pal.

      This is but one of many reasons why I refuse to set foot in a Walmart store. In my point of view, Walmart is the evil spawn of Satan. And CurrentC is but one example.

      1. Yikes! Thank you Brian!

        I have set my foot into a Walmart store in order to see what they’re like. Oh, they’re a warehouse. Thanks. Then I left. I also refuse to buy their possessed objects of satan. They’re a symptom of the general decline of capitalism into parasitism around the globe.

      2. Credit really shouldn’t be “the backbone of the consumer economy”. That’s how you end up with $10,000 of credit card debt. Besides, it’s nice knowing that there’s no bill at the end of the month, and that debit is essentially the same as cash in the sense that you don’t owe anything and when you buy something with debit, it’s paid for immediately, not at the end of the month. The only debt you should have to deal with is a mortgage.

        1. Or… you pay the no-annual-fee credit card bill in full each month. Then you get the fraud protection, convenience, and a good credit score at the low cost of zero.

          1. 100% exactly. Don’t have a credit card limit larger than two weeks salary if you have issues being spend-happy.

            And NEVER forget to pay your credit cards on time. Interest accrues from the purchase date, not the bill date… which means you could have almost 50 days of interest by being one day late. Or… ~$50 per $2000 @ 18%. ONE DAY LATE means wiping out ALL cash-back bonuses/pts you may have received.

        2. >Credit really shouldn’t be “the backbone of the consumer economy”. That’s how you end up with $10,000 of credit card debt.

          Not if you’re not an idiot. If you do like me and use the credit card for all purchasing and pay off the whole balance every month, then not only do you pay no interest, the bank also gives you about $30 cash back (which I take a statement credit) for the “rewards points” you accumulated. Plus, when your card data inevitably gets stolen because you swiped your card in a point of sale terminal that runs Windows XP, you aren’t responsible for the charges. If you had used your debit card, you would be.

      3. The name says it all. “Merchant Customer Exchange” As the Customer in this equation, I choose not to be Exchanged without my explicit knowledge and concurrence. Hey Merchant, find a different sucker.

  2. If I didn’t follow Apple like most of us on here I wouldn’t even know about CurrentC. Also to me it sounds like a programming language and not a mobile payment system when I read the name.

  3. CurrentC is doing a fine job of destroying itself. It’s a crappy product, that sacrifices what customers actually want in a payment system (security and ease of use) in favor of what retailers want (tracking data and retailer credit card fees), blind to the reality that customers actually decide which payment methods they use, not retailers.

    Even their decision to compete against Apple Pay is foolish. If their goal really was to make a widely used payment system sidesteps credit card transaction fees, they could make CurrentC work in Apple Pay as an alternative adding your credit card or bank account. Instead, they are letting the credit companies reap all the benefits of Apple Pay’s superb design, unopposed, while CurrentC foolhardily tries fighting against it.

  4. CurrentC requires you to give the app direct access to your checking account. It doesn’t work with credit cards. People won’t go for this because you don’t have the same fraud protections with debit cards that you do with credit cards. CurrentC also requires scanning of QR codes to pay for things. This system is already obsolete before it even launches…if it ever does.

  5. If not for a probable violation of contract, Apple should have yanked all of their products from Walmart and Target.

    Short of that, they should have let both Walmart and Target know that when the current contract is up, there will be a permanent end to Apple products in their stores.

    Not as a threat to get them to accept ApplePay, but as an absolute promise that this is happening because you, as partner with Apple, decided to Schmidt on us. Apple doesn’t need either one of these crappy stores – especially Walmart.

    And that promise would be irrevocable. Nothing can be done to change it now. You’re going to be an Apple-free zone.

    Apple should never have slummed it in Walmart. Fat, black, welfare queens and non-English speaking illegal aliens should use their EBT cards for Android junk.

    1. Dude, seriously you may not like stores like Wal-Mart or Target, but on average they save the consumer $2000/yr due to the same type of expertise Tim Cook employs.

      Expert supply chain management, and cheap foreign labor(thanks to the Labor Unions making the USA folk to expensive to hire).

      The welfare junkies you so eloquently describe are saving us taxpayers bazillions of dollars by shopping at the box stores.

  6. Hey Mac Daily News – delete his comment!!!

    “Apple should never have slummed it in Walmart. Fat, black, welfare queens and non-English speaking illegal aliens should use their EBT cards for Android junk.”

    Please keep your racist comments to yourself. Good grief.

    Hey Mac Daily News – delete his comment!!!

  7. Basically they’ve had their head up their butt and figured they’d get around to it one day. And the Apple turns up and basically pulls their pants down.

    Pretty much what they did to every phone maker when they released the iPhone.

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