“After almost three years in development, the retail industry’s answer to Apple Pay is finally getting off the ground,” Matthew Townsend and Elizabeth Dexheimer report for Bloomberg. “A mobile payment application developed by Merchant Customer Exchange — a company founded in August 2012 with funding from Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Target Corp. and Best Buy Co. — has been tested by employees of the retailers and will get a limited trial run next month in stores, according to three people familiar with the situation. That means shoppers will soon be able to use the technology, called CurrentC, to pay for items with their phones.”
“The challenge for CurrentC now is playing catch-up against established apps from Apple,” Townsend and Dexheimer report, “as well as explaining to customers why they should bother using it. When Apple Pay rolled out last year, CurrentC was derided by critics as a lower-tech alternative that retailers supported because it would give them tighter control over shoppers’ transactions.”
MacDailyNews Take: “Limited trial run.” What a joke.
“While MCX is getting closer to releasing its app, there are plenty of hurdles. It hasn’t signed deals with major credit-card companies like Visa to use bank-issued card accounts within the app. That means a shopper wouldn’t be able to use, say, a Visa debit card from JPMorgan Chase & Co. This can be done with competing products like Apple Pay. Instead, users of MCX’s app will be limited to private-label store cards, like Target’s REDcard, or they’ll have to give MCX their checking-account details,” Townsend and Dexheimer report. “Another looming headache for MCX: The retailers involved signed three-year exclusivity agreements that prohibited other mobile-payment options. Those restrictions end next month, according to some of the people. In a sign of what might be ahead, MCX member Best Buy said in April that it would begin accepting Apple Pay in its stores later this year.”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: CurrentC makes the Microsoft Zune look like a viable product. DOA.
Apple Pay stands to gain from MCX’s CurrentC disarray – May 18, 2015
Apple Pay is destroying MCX’s CurrentC – May 11, 2015
Best Buy capitulates, to accept Apple Pay despite CurrentC allegiance – April 27, 2015
Major retailers see Apple Pay wave – November 17, 2014
In only 3 weeks, Apple Pay is changing how consumers pay – November 17, 2014
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Bad business: CVS and Rite Aid antagonize their most well-heeled customers by blocking Apple Pay – October 27, 2014
CVS stores reportedly disabling NFC to shut down Apple Pay – October 25, 2014
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More proof that Android is for poor people – May 13, 2014
Apple’s iOS dominates in richer countries, Android in poorer regions – March 25, 2014
Twitter heat map shows iPhone use by the affluent, Android by the poor – June 20, 2013
iPhone users smarter, richer than Android phone users – August 16, 2011
Yankee Group: Apple iPhone owners shop more, buy more, remain more loyal vs. other device users – July 20, 2010
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Albert P.” for the heads up.]