MCX CEO compares CurrentC rollout to original iPhone, reiterates exclusivity to end in 'months'

Posted:
in General Discussion edited November 2014
In a short interview published on Wednesday, MCX CEO Dekkers Davidson likened CurrentC exclusivity agreements to Apple's original iPhone rollout on AT&T, saying consortium members have their best interests in mind in not supporting Apple Pay.

CurrentC app


Davidson told The Verge that exclusivity agreements applied to the upcoming CurrentC mobile payment system are necessary for a successful rollout, but again noted support for competing solutions like Apple Pay will be added "in months, not years."

Comparing CurrentC to Apple's iPhone, Davidson said, "I would observe parenthetically that I don't think too many people complained when Apple went to market with the exclusive that you could only buy it at AT&T, which was the case for a while, and I think that was a reasonable business decision that Apple made."

The situation is not quite the same, however, as MCX merchants can decide whether to accept other forms of electronic payment at their registers. Grocery store chain Meijer, for example, announced recently that it would continue support for both Apple Pay and Google Wallet, bucking reported CurrentC exclusivity rules.

Other retailers, like drug store giants CVS and Rite Aid, opted to disable their NFC point-of-sale terminals following Apple Pay's release in October.

The MCX chief alluded to negative consequences merchants signed on with MCX face if they choose to support CurrentC competitors, but fell short of detailing supposed monetary fines that reportedly come with infractions.

"There are consequences, so if you decide to not keep the agreement that you made with the other merchants we're not going to put a lot of energy in helping get those merchants launched in the near term." -- MCX CEO Dekkers Davidson"There are consequences, so if you decide to not keep the agreement that you made with the other merchants we're not going to put a lot of energy in helping get those merchants launched in the near term," Davidson said.

As for why merchants not fully committed to CurrentC may see slower than usual rollouts, Davidson explained that MCX is a fairly new, and comparatively small, startup venture with less than 100 employees. The group needs to focus resources on retailers that are "keeping connected to one another," he said.

Still, the exclusivity period is to be short-lived, something to be "measured in months, not years." Davidson said the same thing, nearly verbatim, in another interview on Tuesday.

On the virtues of CurrentC, the executive pointed out merchants can offer price cuts on certain products because the system is not linked up with credit card networks, meaning there are no swipe fees attached to purchases. An example is a gas station that can automatically knock 10 to 20 cents off the per gallon price by employing CurrentC at the pump.

Another benefit is loyalty card integration, something that Apple has yet to include in its payments solution. Customers can seamlessly integrate points or accrued cash value to their purchases with CurrentC, an option built into the mobile app. MCX partner CVS, for example, has one of the largest rewards programs in the world.

CurrentC only recently gained notoriety after Apple Pay was announced and MCX merchants subsequently pulled support for the iPhone 6-based system. Best Buy and Wal-Mart were the first two retailers to publicly state non-compliance with Apple Pay. But it was only until CVS and Rite Aid yanked support for Pay after initially accepting it that the media took notice.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 114
    Sounds like Davidson's still in denial. Apple's already eaten your lunch, buddy. Time to move on.
  • Reply 2 of 114
    solipsismysolipsismy Posts: 5,099member
    The original iPhone? Wow! Just, wow!
  • Reply 3 of 114
    The problem with his iPhone analogy is that AT&T wasn't forcing its customers to only buy the iPhone...
  • Reply 4 of 114
    This guy reminds me of Don Mattrick last year...
  • Reply 5 of 114
    I'm so done with MCX articles.. get over it already.. it's DBA....
  • Reply 6 of 114

    This article misses the fact that Miejer is bound to the exclusivity agreements for the same period as the other MCX members. However, they had NFC deployed before they signed on with MCX and it was grandfathered as a result. They just qualified for the exception due to their visionary deployment of NFC 5 years ago.

  • Reply 7 of 114
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,712member

    Yes, just like the iPhone! 

    (hysterical nervous laughter)

  • Reply 8 of 114
    dgnr8dgnr8 Posts: 196member
    There is a difference with Apple selling their PRODUCT with one service provider of their choosing at launch compared to a group of retailers colluding together with the understanding that they will refuse other forms of payment other than their own.

    This is where anti-trust questions come into play.

    If the DOJ and SEC will do there job I would be willing to bet there is more dirt under this rug.
  • Reply 9 of 114
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 2,246member
    The problem with his iPhone analogy is that AT&T wasn't forcing its customers to only buy the iPhone...

    The other problem was that a lot of people were in fact bitching that it was only on AT&T!
  • Reply 10 of 114
    solipsismysolipsismy Posts: 5,099member
    I love how he previously stated there was no fine and some vendors were saying there is no exclusivity, and now he's saying there are consequences for breaking exclusivity. What other consequences could he impose that isn't monetary?
  • Reply 11 of 114
    sflagelsflagel Posts: 671member
    Guys! MCX will allow you to pay LESS at the cash register because the 3% - 7% credit card fees fall way. Be happy! Support it. And no, scanning a bar chart is not less convenient than scanning an NFC chip.

    So your choice: pay $100 using MCX or $107 using Apple Pay. Your choice. But don't hate.
  • Reply 12 of 114
    calicali Posts: 3,494member
    jbdragon wrote: »
    The other problem was that a lot of people were in fact bitching that it was only on AT&T!

    Which hurt iPhones market share later. It isn't Apples fault since they didn't know Giggle would backstab them. But I remember people wanting iPhone but settling with an early android knockoff.

    I find it funny how MCX is so fixated on ?Pay and disregards that other spy option.
  • Reply 13 of 114
    tleviertlevier Posts: 104member
    Like others have said, the analogy would be more apt if AT&T exclusively sold the iPhone
  • Reply 14 of 114

    Yes! Give the data breach Kings Target and Home Depot DIRECT ACCESS to your bank account!

    Give them all your personal data!

    Give them your (likely HIPAA violating) private health data!

    Let them TRACK YOU 24/7! And SAVE SAVE SAVE

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by sflagel View Post



    Guys! MCX will allow you to pay LESS at the cash register because the 3% - 7% credit card fees fall way. Be happy! Support it. And no, scanning a bar chart is not less convenient than scanning an NFC chip.



    So your choice: pay $100 using MCX or $107 using Apple Pay. Your choice. But don't hate.

  • Reply 15 of 114
    Big difference, the customer was the user and was focused on the user. CurrentC is focused on the retailer and that is the customer. The retailer customer is NOT the focus.

    If you want to make a comparison, then ATT, Verizon, et al were the cell phone manufacturer's customers, then Apple made the actual customer the owner of the cell phone and disrupted an entire industry.

    Now I see parallels in Apple Pay with iPhone, but NOT CurrentC.
  • Reply 16 of 114
    sflagel wrote: »
    Guys! MCX will allow you to pay LESS at the cash register because the 3% - 7% credit card fees fall way. Be happy! Support it. And no, scanning a bar chart is not less convenient than scanning an NFC chip.

    So your choice: pay $100 using MCX or $107 using Apple Pay. Your choice. But don't hate.

    For a sec you had me, I actually thought you were serious. Pllease forgive my ingnorance for not getting the sarcasm right away.
  • Reply 17 of 114
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by sflagel View Post



    Guys! MCX will allow you to pay LESS at the cash register because the 3% - 7% credit card fees fall way. Be happy! Support it. And no, scanning a bar chart is not less convenient than scanning an NFC chip.



    So your choice: pay $100 using MCX or $107 using Apple Pay. Your choice. But don't hate.

     

    Which merchant bank charges 7%?  And to what kind of business?

  • Reply 18 of 114
    If it's actually cheaper to use a different payment method, as CurrentC seems to promise, then a lot of people will use it. But the card companies won't just give up and go home, they'll provide more attractive and (importantly) much simpler cashback, rewards, offers etc; the kind of things that Passbook was designed to organise... and guess which app you use for Apple Pay...
  • Reply 19 of 114
    sflagelsflagel Posts: 671member
    macotor wrote: »
    It's just a bank acct. you can challenge any wrong debits, there is no personal data attached to it, no one can debit without your explicit authorisation. Same as credit card, but cheaper and yes, safer.
  • Reply 20 of 114
    solipsismysolipsismy Posts: 5,099member
    tlevier wrote: »
    Like others have said, the analogy would be more apt if AT&T exclusively sold the iPhone

    Or if Apple signed up with dozens of carriers and then told them they couldn't sell any other cellphone as soon as Android hit the market.
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