Apple Pay Competitor CurrentC Readying August Trial Run

Apple Pay Competitor CurrentC Readying August Trial Run

MCX’s CurrentC mobile payment platform is set for an initial trial run in August. The Apple Pay competitor, which is backed by a number of major U.S. retailers, is preparing for a wider public release.

Apple Pay Competitor CurrentC Readying August Trial Run


That trial will be limited, three sources explained to Bloomberg, although they did not mention details. A spokeswoman for one company in the MCX consortium, Lowe’s, said that a CurrentC app should launch sometime in the September quarter. MCX COO Scott Rankin confirmed only that tests are beginning this year and that the consortium is “making good progress” on the app.

CurrentC is attractive to retailers as a way to reduce fees paid to credit card companies and banks. The system has the backing of Best Buy, Walmart, CVS, Wendy’s, and others. The platform also supplies a nice stream of consumer data to its members, something Apple refuses to offer via its payments service.

CurrentC has certain drawbacks when compared to other payments services, such as not offering support for credit or debit cards, other than those issued by the member stores. For those without a store-issued card, MCX requires access to the customer’s checking account.

CurrentC’s biggest stumbling block is Apple’s Apple Pay, and Google’s upcoming Android Pay. Both payments systems are integrated into the latest devices from both platforms, and CurrentC may not present itself as a compelling enough reason to try the platform.

While MCX did impose exclusivity contracts on its store members, those appear to be expiring, as CurrentC members Meijer and Best Buy either already accept Apple Pay, or have announced plans to do so.