CurrentC inches closer to death as Apple Pay adds over 30 banks

Posted:
in iPhone edited June 2016
Payments industry hopeful CurrentC continued its slow death march on Tuesday, announcing plans to officially end beta testing later in June without plans for wider rollout. In related news, Apple Pay this week gained support from more than 30 U.S. banks and credit unions.




The Merchant Customer Exchange, a consortium of retailers responsible for developing the CurrentC platform, sent out an email notifying beta testers in Columbus, Ohio, that the program's trial period will end on June 28, reports The Consumerist.

An update to the CurrentC website confirms the upcoming services shutdown. When the late June deadline rolls around participating stores will no longer be able to process CurrentC transactions, and all customer accounts will be disabled. Beta testers who loaded a gift card into the CurrentC app and disposed of the original hard copy are being asked to use the balance by June 28.

MCX offers little insight into CurrentC's future, saying only that plans are in place to analyze data accumulated from the beta period. Last month the consortium postponed a scheduled nationwide rollout for the second time in as many years, reportedly firing 30 employees. The development prompted speculation on the system's impending demise.

In development since 2012, CurrentC was designed to link directly with customer bank accounts, allowing major retailers like Walmart to skirt credit card network fees. The system got off to a rocky start and was immediately challenged by tech sector players, including in-house offerings from Apple and Google. MCX attempted to thwart competition by restricting member retailers from accepting other NFC payment platforms, but ongoing troubles and industry pressure prompted Rite Aid and Best Buy to break rank late last year. Walmart followed suit in May by launching its own branded solution.

The news comes as Apple continues to build out its own mobile payments product, Apple Pay, with the addition of 34 banks and credit unions.

According to the company's Support webpage cards from the following banks can now be provisioned on Apple Pay:

  • 121 Financial Credit Union
  • Acclaim Federal Credit Union
  • Boston Firefighters Credit Union
  • Catholic Vantage Federal Credit Union
  • Clackamas County Bank
  • Coastal Community Federal Credit Union
  • Commonwealth Community Bank
  • Cumberland Valley National Bank
  • Discovery Federal Credit Union
  • Easthampton Savings Bank
  • First Bank & Trust (IL)
  • First Bank & Trust (TX)
  • First Federal Lakewood
  • First Heritage Federal Credit Union
  • First National Bank of Carrollton
  • First National Bank of Fort Smith
  • First Security Bank & Trust
  • First State Bank of Wyoming
  • Home Bank
  • Members Credit Union
  • Nebraska State Bank
  • Origin Bank
  • Pegasus Bank
  • Sandia Area Federal Credit Union
  • Siouxland Federal Credit Union
  • State Farm Bank
  • Summit Bank
  • Synergy Federal Credit Union
  • Texas First State Bank
  • The Bank of Monroe
  • The Honesdale National Bank
  • University of Toledo Federal Credit Union
  • Wayne County Bank
  • Willis Credit Union

Apple is aggressively expanding Apple Pay beyond the domestic market and most recently struck deals with Canada's "big five" bank holdouts. The payments service is available in Australia, Canada, China, Singapore, the U.S. and the UK, with future launches rumored for Brazil, France and Japan.

A report earlier today claimed preparations for a debut in Switzerland could be completed in time for announcement at next week's Worldwide Developers Conference. The rumblings are in line with Apple's immediate focus on expanding Apple Pay into markets within Asia and Europe.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 35
    El Oh El
    latifbp
  • Reply 2 of 35
    bobschlobbobschlob Posts: 1,074member
    Now, 'This' is some good Apple news.  :)
    lolliver
  • Reply 3 of 35
    sockrolidsockrolid Posts: 2,788member
    Hey CVS.  If you enable ApplePay, I'll start buying stuff in your stores again.
    Right now Walgreen's is my CVS replacement.
    patchythepiratelostkiwilolliverradarthekatslprescottcaliVisualSeedlatifbpnetmagenolamacguy
  • Reply 4 of 35
    sockrolid said:
    Hey CVS.  If you enable ApplePay, I'll start buying stuff in your stores again.
    Right now Walgreen's is my CVS replacement.
    Walgreens does Apple Pay properly, even the Walgreens rewards card works on a watch,.
    IMO Walgreens is the right method, better than Staples and Starbucks even.

    I dont much care abot more banks, just more places - and be consistant. Sometimes I can use Apple Pay at HArris Teater, sometime s not - its silly. Also Home Depot.

    Wawa recently introduced it, bit you have to sign in to their app on your iPhone, its way too much work to use it in practice.
    calijbdragonjdgaz
  • Reply 5 of 35
    amarkapamarkap Posts: 54member
    Please know that I'm not meaning to bash Apple (or Apple Pay) when I write this, but honestly I don't really get it too much. I have an Apple Watch and I have used Apple Pay with it, but it was never like a game-changing moment. Partly my fault in that I forget what button to press to bring up Apple Pay on the watch but even the few items it all worked I guess it was just okay. Using a credit card would have been just as well. Again, not earth-shattering cool by any means for me. But I keep reading about how Apple is getting more and more banks and places to come on board...but I never really know why. Is it just to sell hardware? I can't imagine people going the way of Apple just for this. Maybe a little bit sure...but all this has got to be costing Apple some good money. I can say the Share price sure doesn't reflect this initiative. Anyway, no harm no foul I guess so keep going and maybe the new generation prefers all this.
    ronnrazormaid
  • Reply 6 of 35
    plovellplovell Posts: 800member
    Stick a fork in it - it's done.
  • Reply 7 of 35
    lolliverlolliver Posts: 320member
    amarkap said:
    Please know that I'm not meaning to bash Apple (or Apple Pay) when I write this, but honestly I don't really get it too much. I have an Apple Watch and I have used Apple Pay with it, but it was never like a game-changing moment. Partly my fault in that I forget what button to press to bring up Apple Pay on the watch but even the few items it all worked I guess it was just okay. Using a credit card would have been just as well. Again, not earth-shattering cool by any means for me. But I keep reading about how Apple is getting more and more banks and places to come on board...but I never really know why. Is it just to sell hardware? I can't imagine people going the way of Apple just for this. Maybe a little bit sure...but all this has got to be costing Apple some good money. I can say the Share price sure doesn't reflect this initiative. Anyway, no harm no foul I guess so keep going and maybe the new generation prefers all this.

    Maybe you haven't heard about the Home Depot or Target hacks and all the credit card info being stolen? Maybe you're completely unaware of credit card fraud and the fact that Apple Pay uses tokenization to ensure your credit card details are never sent to the retailer or able to be skimmed by nearby hackers? It's not just about the ease of use that makes Apple Pay the better option, it's about the significantly better security.

    But on the ease of use side, even using the iPhone without an AppleWatch is easier than using a credit card. Most people can get their phone out of their pocket much faster than you can pull out your wallet and get a card out. The Watch is even more convenient. But of course getting a credit card out isn't the hardest thing in the world to do so the convenience of ApplePay won't be a dramatic change to your life. But it is more convenient and is far more secure.

    So maybe, just maybe, you don't have an AppleWatch at all and your story is as made up as it sounds. "I have an Apple Watch and I've used ApplePay but I didn't know which button to press, then I did know which button to press and it did work but I still didn't like it".  Sure...  ;-)
    neil andersonjony0ericthehalfbeelatifbpmejsricRayz2016chiapscooter63lostkiwibadmonk
  • Reply 8 of 35
    razormaidrazormaid Posts: 299member
    amarkap said:
    Please know that I'm not meaning to bash Apple (or Apple Pay) when I write this, but honestly I don't really get it too much. I have an Apple Watch and I have used Apple Pay with it, but it was never like a game-changing moment. Partly my fault in that I forget what button to press to bring up Apple Pay on the watch but even the few items it all worked I guess it was just okay. Using a credit card would have been just as well. Again, not earth-shattering cool by any means for me. But I keep reading about how Apple is getting more and more banks and places to come on board...but I never really know why. Is it just to sell hardware? I can't imagine people going the way of Apple just for this. Maybe a little bit sure...but all this has got to be costing Apple some good money. I can say the Share price sure doesn't reflect this initiative. Anyway, no harm no foul I guess so keep going and maybe the new generation prefers all this.
    I understand what you're saying. In the beginning it was a little tricky to remember press and hold this button... But it's not to sell hardware it's to stop carrying my wallet. Where I live in Arizona it's hot. At the moment REALLY hot. I live in athletic shorts as do most people I know. You know those ones where your pill case and keys fall out?  Well imagine trying to get your wallet in there too?  Surprisingly my big ass iPhone 6s Plus doesn't suffer this fate because it's just heavy enough and slender enough to "hang" in my atheletic shorts. Buts it's hard to get both my keys AND wallet in the other pocket. 

    So I end up carrying around this shoulder bag that  houses my wallet. Really?  An entire bag just for my wallet?  So I toss in some frozen water and an unused iPad mini so I don't look AS gay but it's pretty gay looking. LOL  and I'm gay so I can say that!

    Everyone knows im an apple dev and beta tester so I was literally shamed into using Pay. I had nothing against it - hell my other half is a pharmacy manager at Walgreens and they are the final word in setting it up correctly as another person mentioned. 

    Bottom line?  All my cash is tied to PAYPAL debit masrercard. Pay is not an option. My entire business financial payments go into PayPal so until they breakdown and allow my MasterCard business debit card to use  Pay I'm stuck between platforms. The second Apple offers a legitimate debit card system I'm out of there with PayPal. But until then I'm at the mercy of my wallet and gay wallet/frozenwater bag. 

    PS  
    To the guy who wrote this"Maybe you haven't heard about the Home Depot or Target hacks"... To "amarkap"...

    maybe be you haven't heard: Target doesn't do Pay and neither does our 2 local Home Depot either. So what was your point at that dig. The guy should stop saving money and buy product from a grocery store? Oh that's right NO grocery stores in our area take Pay either. Luckily I understood what he was saying but maybe read what he was saying/asking "is all this talking about banks taking it just to get people to buy our hardware?  No. It's more to get all of US to complain at the places we shop that we don't want to use our wallet when there's a safer way!
    edited June 2016
  • Reply 9 of 35
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,142member
    How many fucking banks and credit unions are there in the US? An infinite number? Seems like every week there's another 50 banks added. 
    lolliverradarthekatcalichiapatchythepiratelostkiwijbdragon
  • Reply 10 of 35
    macseekermacseeker Posts: 430member
    slurpy said:
    How many fucking banks and credit unions are there in the US? An infinite number? Seems like every week there's another 50 banks added. 
    Well, they're coming out of the woodworks. I live in a really small city and one wouldn't believe how many different financial institutions there are around here.
    calilostkiwijbdragon
  • Reply 11 of 35
    bobschlobbobschlob Posts: 1,074member

    I dont much care abot more banks, just more places - and be consistant. Sometimes I can use Apple Pay at HArris Teater, sometime s not - its silly. Also Home Depot.
    This.
  • Reply 12 of 35
    lolliverlolliver Posts: 320member
    razormaid said:
     
    PS  
    To the guy who wrote this"Maybe you haven't heard about the Home Depot or Target hacks"... To "amarkap"...

    maybe be you haven't heard: Target doesn't do Pay and neither does our 2 local Home Depot either. So what was your point at that dig. The guy should stop saving money and buy product from a grocery store? Oh that's right NO grocery stores in our area take Pay either. Luckily I understood what he was saying but maybe read what he was saying/asking "is all this talking about banks taking it just to get people to buy our hardware?  No. It's more to get all of US to complain at the places we shop that we don't want to use our wallet when there's a safer way!

    Um.... Why are you trying to change what I was saying to make a completely different argument? At no point did that discussion have anything to do with ApplePay not being supported at certain retailers. That's a whole different discussion. Amarkap was talking about how he didn't see the point of using ApplePay at stores that were supported because he didn't find it any more convenient than using a credit card. My point was that it's not all about convenience, it's about security. Yes obviously if the store doesn't yet support ApplePay you don't have the option of ApplePay's more secure payment method. What Amarkap said though was that they didn't see the point in using ApplePay at stores where it is supported.  

    And also you say "But it's not to sell hardware it's to stop carrying my wallet". Amarkap was questioning why Apple would have developed ApplePay and what the benefit of it is. The fact that it could allow you to no longer need to carry your wallet means that it is solving an issue for you. Which would be a factor in choosing to buy new hardware. It's a feature that makes the phone more appealing. So yes, Apple did develop this feature to sell more hardware. Apple do take part of the transaction fees so they are also recouping some of their costs that way but the primary reason for adding a feature like ApplePay is most definitely to sell more hardware. 

    latifbpmejsricchiapscooter63netmagebanchoai46
  • Reply 13 of 35
    bobschlobbobschlob Posts: 1,074member
    amarkap said:
    Please know that I'm not meaning to bash Apple (or Apple Pay) when I write this, but honestly I don't really get it too much. I have an Apple Watch and I have used Apple Pay with it, but it was never like a game-changing moment. Partly my fault in that I forget what button to press to bring up Apple Pay on the watch but even the few items it all worked I guess it was just okay. Using a credit card would have been just as well. Again, not earth-shattering cool by any means for me. But I keep reading about how Apple is getting more and more banks and places to come on board...but I never really know why. Is it just to sell hardware? I can't imagine people going the way of Apple just for this. Maybe a little bit sure...but all this has got to be costing Apple some good money. I can say the Share price sure doesn't reflect this initiative. Anyway, no harm no foul I guess so keep going and maybe the new generation prefers all this.
    After you experience credit card fraud or identity theft (as millions and millions of people have), then you'll start to figure it out (I'm giving you benefit of the doubt here).
    But in the meantime; yeah, I guess it's just about "cool" (or not) for you.
    edited June 2016 lolliverlatifbpmejsricchiapscooter63netmagebancho
  • Reply 14 of 35
    amarkap said:
    Please know that I'm not meaning to bash Apple (or Apple Pay) when I write this, but honestly I don't really get it too much. I have an Apple Watch and I have used Apple Pay with it, but it was never like a game-changing moment. Partly my fault in that I forget what button to press to bring up Apple Pay on the watch but even the few items it all worked I guess it was just okay. Using a credit card would have been just as well. Again, not earth-shattering cool by any means for me. But I keep reading about how Apple is getting more and more banks and places to come on board...but I never really know why. Is it just to sell hardware? I can't imagine people going the way of Apple just for this. Maybe a little bit sure...but all this has got to be costing Apple some good money. I can say the Share price sure doesn't reflect this initiative. Anyway, no harm no foul I guess so keep going and maybe the new generation prefers all this.
    The big deal isn't that ApplePay allows you to pay for stuff.

    The big deal is that ApplePay turns your credit card into a device that is secure, can make and receive phone calls, send sms's and email, browse the internet, organise your calender, take photos and notes, read books, edit documents, make and play music, install apps, etc, etc, etc...

    macky the mackyVisualSeedlolliverwelshdogmejsricchialostkiwinetmagenolamacguyai46
  • Reply 15 of 35
    welshdogwelshdog Posts: 1,684member
    I've got to train myself to look for the Apple Pay logo more carefully when I shop. I was buying dog food at our locally owned pet supply store here in Austin. I had already paid and was chatting with the checker. Apple Pay came up and she pointed at the logo below the card scanner. Next time I guess! Love it that some of my favorite local shops are adding it. There is a cool pastry place outside of town that takes it and a couple of local coffee shops too.

    I would think Apple would want to do some adverstising periodically to reinforce the security aspect of Apple Pay. I have brought it up with people and had them express concern about the security of it. I explain how it works and that your card number is not in the phone nor is it given to the merchant. They look at me funny usually.
    edited June 2016 lollivernetmage
  • Reply 16 of 35
    pscooter63pscooter63 Posts: 923member
    For any given retailer, my transactions tend to go like this...
    [holds credit card in hand while cashier hits Total]
    "Okay, you can go ahead and swipe it."
    [Swipe; wait between 2 and 10 seconds for device response]

    With Apple Pay, it goes like this...
    [Holds phone in hand while cashier hits Total]
    "Okay, you can -"
    [beep]
    [slight double take]
    "Well, okay, then!"

    I'm sure this will eventually get old, but right now, it's still fun.  AND secure.
    lollivernetmagesummerwind
  • Reply 17 of 35
    ericthehalfbeeericthehalfbee Posts: 4,061member
    welshdog said:
    I've got to train myself to look for the Apple Pay logo more carefully when I shop. I was buying dog food at our locally owned pet supply store here in Austin. I had already paid and was chatting with the checker. Apple Pay came up and she pointed at the logo below the card scanner. Next time I guess! Love it that some of my favorite local shops are adding it. There is a cool pastry place outside of town that takes it and a couple of local coffee shops too.

    I would think Apple would want to do some adverstising periodically to reinforce the security aspect of Apple Pay. I have brought it up with people and had them express concern about the security of it. I explain how it works and that your card number is not in the phone nor is it given to the merchant. They look at me funny usually.

    Why ask if they have Apple Pay? Just ask if they have tap & pay. If they do then Apple Pay should work fine.

    I agree on the advertising. Pretty much everyone I've told about it (or those who've seen me use it) always say the same thing: "Why tap my phone when I can just tap my card." When I explain that your real card number is never used and that it removes the ability for someone to skim your card number, they immediately become very interested.

    Apple seriously needs to showcase this. And I know just how they can - by duplicating the experience I have. Run an ad where one customer notices the other using Apple Pay and asks the same question I get asked. And have the Apple Pay customer tell them about the security of Apple Pay and how it masks your actual card numbers.

    The security of Apple Pay is the best feature, yet Apple seems more interested in showing how fast and easy it is.
    lollivernetmage
  • Reply 18 of 35
    bestkeptsecretbestkeptsecret Posts: 3,274member

    Beta testers who loaded a gift card into the CurrentC app and disposed of the original hard copy are being asked to use the balance by June 28.

    This is pretty sad. Why can't they just re-issue the physical gift cards? Why screw the people who were doing your dirty work for you?


  • Reply 19 of 35
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    There are only 30 domestic banks in Canada

    The largest ones, counting for 99% of people are:

    - Big 5
    Bank of Montreal (BMO)
    ScotiaBank
    CIBC
    Royal Bank of Canada (RBC)
    Toronto Dominion (TD)
    ----
    Canadian Western Bank
    Laurentian Bank
    National Bank (BNC)
    Tangerine

    1/3 the Canadian pop also is member of 11 credit unions, about 65% out west and in the province of Quebec. The largest by far is Desjardins which is 6th by asset in Canada (if it were considered a bank).

    Of 26 foreign banks with presence in Canada,  HSBC, Citibank and UBS are the biggest by far.

    So, our situation is very different than in the US.
    edited June 2016
  • Reply 20 of 35
    lolliver said:


    Most people can get their phone out of their pocket much faster than you can pull out your wallet and get a card out.
    That is EXACTLY why I love Pay so much. I have been pretty vocal about wanting the NFC terminals at certain stores in Germany to allow Pay transactions. Yeah, I know Pay is not officially introduced in Germany, but I have been using Pay since the first day in October 2014 at surprisingly many places that have NFC terminals. That includes ALDI Süd, the stalwart of cheapiness.


    edited June 2016 lolliver
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