Apple Pay challenger CurrentC could postpone launch into 2016

Posted:
in iPhone edited August 2015
MCX's CurrentC mobile payment platform may not officially launch until 2016, since the consortium is working to get things right, CEO Brian Mooney said in an interview published on Wednesday.




A public pilot of the technology will launch in Columbus, Ohio within a few weeks, Mooney confirmed to Re/code. Beyond that, though, CurrentC is not expected to launch as widely in 2015 as originally intended.

MCX will hold off on launching the service until it's ready, Mooney remarked, arguing that while "faster is always better," the aim is to "do it right."

News about the pilot program first emerged last month. At the time, though, MCX member Lowe's claimed that an app could launch as soon as the September quarter. Consortium COO Scott Rankin would only say that tests were planned for 2015 and that "good progress" was happening on the app.

At least some MCX members, including Rite Aid and Best Buy, are this month emerging from exclusivity agreements which prevented them from adopting rival payment systems, Re/code noted. Both of those companies have already announced plans to support Apple Pay, the former as quickly as August 15.

Mooney acknowledged that at first the plan was to have CurrentC ready before exclusivity was over. He held though that the service could still thrive amongst competitors, and would have advantages like coupons and loyalty cards, plus serious financial backing by members, since one of the goals of CurrentC is to avoid the higher transaction fees associated with normal credit cards. Initially the CurrentC app will only support store and gift cards, or direct checking account links.

It could gain support for conventional cards in the future, Mooney said. CurrentC's main competitors -- Apple Pay and Google Wallet/Android Pay -- already revolve around that option. The two platforms will gain loyalty and rewards functions later this year.

Apple and Google also have the advantage of being well-established players in mobile payments, and not only having their systems preinstalled on compatible devices but enhanced by technologies like fingerprint sensors and NFC. People will have to download CurrentC to try it, and make payments by scanning QR codes instead of simply tapping their device against a terminal.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 92

    Doomed.

  • Reply 2 of 92
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,537member
    It's got to be hard for that COO to keep a straight face knowing that CurrentC is a botched, insecure service that is going to fall flat on its face.

    I give it six months max, then it becomes a sinking ship.
  • Reply 3 of 92
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 3,030moderator

    Brian Mooney is out.  You heard it here first.  It'll happen in October.

  • Reply 4 of 92
    Goodbye Colombus!

    MCX's CurrentC mobile payment platform may not officially launch until 2016, since the consortium is working to get things right, CEO Brian Mooney said in an interview published on Wednesday.

    A public pilot of the technology will launch in Columbus, Ohio within a few weeks, Mooney <a href="http://recode.net/2015/08/12/apple-pay-competitor-currentc-may-not-launch-until-next-year/">confirmed</a> to <em>Re/code</em>. Beyond that, though, CurrentC is not expected to launch as widely in 2015 as originally intended.

    MCX will hold off on launching the service until it's ready, Mooney remarked, arguing that while "faster is always better," the aim is to "do it right."
     
  • Reply 5 of 92

    Do you think they've reached a point where they HAVE to launch the service because of how much has already been invested?

  • Reply 6 of 92
    quinneyquinney Posts: 2,525member
    ds92jz wrote: »
    Do you think they've reached a point where they HAVE to launch the service because of how much has already been invested?

    I think they have reached a point where they should cut their losses.
  • Reply 7 of 92
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,940member

    I can’t add my bank credit/debit card to this system and I have to tie my checking account directly to this payment scheme. Okay... no.

  • Reply 8 of 92
    mike1mike1 Posts: 1,869member
    RIP
  • Reply 9 of 92
    solipsismysolipsismy Posts: 5,099member
    sflocal wrote: »
    It's got to be hard for that COO to keep a straight face knowing that CurrentC is a botched, insecure service that is going to fall flat on its face.

    I give it six months max, then it becomes a sinking ship.

    I'm doubtful it will ever launch as designed. By 2016 how many of their "partners" will still be under contract? I'd say by the end of next year at least 80% of their "partners" will be accepting Apple Pay (and Andorid Pay).
  • Reply 10 of 92
    A camel is a horse designed by committee.
  • Reply 11 of 92
    All of my friends who own iPhones are waiting for this pay solution. None of them have activated their Apple Pay accounts, as they're waiting to see how exciting this solution will be.

    [sorry, my cat walked across the keyboard and accidentally typed that paragraph out. it's obviously not true.]
  • Reply 12 of 92
    gregqgregq Posts: 62member

    Hate to rain on the usual fanboy comments here, but CurrentC isn't going anywhere because it's all about avoiding $millions in CC fees for retailers; if they implement strong loyalty rewards, which Apple has been SLOW to encourage, then no matter how archaic the process (displaying QR codes etc) CurrentC will at a minimum live alongside ApplePay and Google Wallet. Don't underestimate the power of Walmart. 

  • Reply 13 of 92
    gregq wrote: »
    Hate to rain on the usual fanboy comments here, but CurrentC isn't going anywhere because it's all about avoiding $millions in CC fees for retailers; if they implement strong loyalty rewards, which Apple has been SLOW to encourage, then no matter how archaic the process (displaying QR codes etc) CurrentC will at a minimum live alongside ApplePay and Google Wallet. Don't underestimate the power of Walmart. 

    Any vendor whose security I don't trust gets cash from me.
  • Reply 14 of 92
    normmnormm Posts: 554member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by gregq View Post

     

    Hate to rain on the usual fanboy comments here, but CurrentC isn't going anywhere because it's all about avoiding $millions in CC fees for retailers; if they implement strong loyalty rewards, which Apple has been SLOW to encourage, then no matter how archaic the process (displaying QR codes etc) CurrentC will at a minimum live alongside ApplePay and Google Wallet. Don't underestimate the power of Walmart. 


     

    Apple Pay accepts store branded cards, debit cards and loyalty cards.  Why is CurrentC even still a thing?

  • Reply 15 of 92
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by ds92jz View Post

     

    Do you think they've reached a point where they HAVE to launch the service because of how much has already been invested?


     

    That is only a thing if you have poor decision making skills and a lack of knowledge with regards to what a sunk cost is. You should never be using past expenses to justify future investments.

     

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by quinney View Post





    I think they have reached a point where they should cut their losses.

     

    I concur, the mobile payments landscape has changed significantly since the launch of Google Wallet and more so since the launch of Apple Pay. The simple fact that about 95% of mobile devices have an OS with a built-in mobile payments option materially impacts the potential market share of CurrentC. Not only are they late to the game (of which they had a head start on), they are coming to market with what is perceived by a significant amount of their target audience as an inferior solution to the native solutions built into their platform of choice. Relying on Walmart, and the market share of Windows Phone + the ever dwindling Blackberry is not a recipe for success.

     

    -PopinFRESH

  • Reply 16 of 92
    icoco3icoco3 Posts: 1,459member

    With the new iPhones being launched and ApplePay spreading even more, the market will already be dominated by a secure system and people just won't want to tie their bank account to the payment system.  Also, people use credit cards as cash they do not have and pay later.

     

    RIP CurrentC

  • Reply 17 of 92
    thomprthompr Posts: 1,511member
    Quote:



    Originally Posted by gregq View Post

     

    Hate to rain on the usual fanboy comments here, but CurrentC isn't going anywhere because it's all about avoiding $millions in CC fees for retailers; if they implement strong loyalty rewards, which Apple has been SLOW to encourage, then no matter how archaic the process (displaying QR codes etc) CurrentC will at a minimum live alongside ApplePay and Google Wallet. Don't underestimate the power of Walmart. 




    Walmart has for years tried to do away with CC processing fees.  There are just some things you can't beat just because you have a ton of cash and lots of incentive.  Forcing the customer to directly link their bank accounts is a major issue, especially when considering the lack of stronger security on most (not all) Android devices.  The friction at the point of sale is another, whether you want to honor it or not.

     

    This service is DOA.  Even a non-Apple fanboy can see that.

  • Reply 18 of 92
    icoco3icoco3 Posts: 1,459member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by thompr View Post

     



    Walmart has for years tried to do away with CC processing fees.  There are just some things you can't beat just because you have a ton of cash and lots of incentive.  Forcing the customer to directly link their bank accounts is a major issue, especially when considering the lack of stronger security on most (not all) Android devices.  The friction at the point of sale is another, whether you want to honor it or not.

     

    This service is DOA.  Even a non-Apple fanboy can see that.


     

    Walmarts issue was not allowing people who had Mastercard or Visa Debit use them as credit which is a violation of the Mastercard and Visa policies

  • Reply 19 of 92
    mac_dogmac_dog Posts: 674member
    on the crash cart and bleeding out.
  • Reply 20 of 92
    solipsismysolipsismy Posts: 5,099member
    gregq wrote: »
    Hate to rain on the usual fanboy comments here, but CurrentC isn't going anywhere because it's all about avoiding $millions in CC fees for retailers; if they implement strong loyalty rewards, which Apple has been SLOW to encourage, then no matter how archaic the process (displaying QR codes etc) CurrentC will at a minimum live alongside ApplePay and Google Wallet. Don't underestimate the power of Walmart. 

    As [@]NormM[/@] points out, Apple Pay accepts store cards and loyalty cards. I guess you mean that CurrentC could survive and live on as an option for Apple Pay (and Android Pay et al.) users , but that still goes against the stonewalling MCX put up to block Apple Pay by getting most "partners" to disable NFC on their terminals even thought it had been working fine for Google Wallet before that. CurrentC may live on, but it will not be against Apple Pay.
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