The battle for mobile payments is starting to really heat up, with Apple and NFC fans in general going against the Walmart and Best Buy backed CurrentC, developed by the Merchant Customer Exchange. When CVS and Rite Aid pharmacy stores both decided to remove Apple Pay as an option – which would later be revealed as terms of the contract between MCX and retailers – it kickstarted the anger against CurrentC and boycott of various retailers.
CurrentC is coming in 2015 and will offer QR codes to pay for things in stores, with zero-charge to the retailer. This means users will pay for things through mobile and will not have to pay the extra 2 percent VISA, MasterCard and other credit providers add. Companies like Walmart could save millions in the long-term. Ex-CEO and member of the board Lee Scott has already vented his rage at VISA, claiming he does not care if CurrentC succeeds or fails, as long as its hurts VISA.
This appears to be the major issue for all retailers who signed the $500,000 contract with MCX, to remove the 2 percent charge. Apple Pay and other NFC service impose the 2 percent, along with their own small percentage for using their branded service. Even though retailers have a good drive towards pushing a certain service, it is obvious CurrentC is not going to be adopted heavily in the U.S. Customers have already signed up to Apple Pay in droves, with 1 million sign-ups in three days, alongside millions of customers on Google Wallet and other NFC payment services.
CurrentC offers a complex QR based system and has already shown it cannot keep user data safe, getting hacked within the first month of the beta test. MCX may claim they are trying to create a smart solution everyone will love, but it will be a stroke of genius to make QR codes more usable than NFC.