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Apple Pay and CurrentC

I predict one year from today CurrentC won't be up and running and, in fact, history will show it was just another attempt to stall and prevent any kind of mobile payment system in the U.S. from being a success. I'm not saying that there won't be NFC payment systems, just that they'll be marginalized and virtually usess as a result.

Posted by Tom Limoncelli

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At the moment, those retailers are locked in to support it. It was part of their investment when they joined MCX. After time of it going nowhere and under pressure of public backlash, they will abandon it.

I'm a sysadmin who works in retail.

No one is forced to join MCX. The big retailers who are part of this consortium are there by choice. They are attempting to reduce their payment processing costs. Currently, MC/Visa charge them 3% on almost all of their revenue. That is many millions of dollars. Apple Pay perpetuates this forced marriage.

I don't personally believe that large industry consortiums make the best software developers, and so I'm not expecting them to produce an elegant product. A clunky app will not see wide user addition. Therefore, I expect CurrenC o die a slow death.

My personal hope is that payment networks built on bitcoin reach critical mass, and retailers can give some of the 3% savings back to consumers. Time will tell.

Johnny, thanks for the feedback! Check back in a year to see if my prediction is correct.

I agree w/ CurrentC being a slow disaster, but I do think that NFC payment will become very popular in a year.

ApplePay helped spark it, but the truth will be the required upgrades to the terminals due to EMV.

(I"m not sure why you say that NFC will be marginalized & virtually useless (sp above?) )

Hi Tom. Yes, it will be interesting to see how things go in a year or two.

As Martin said, nobody is forced to join MCX. They all bought into it (idealistically and with their wallets). The promise of a network that shares buyers data and rids themselves of swipe fees is probably why they all joined. MCX said retailers are free to go but didn't say that it wouldn't cost them to leave. Retailers would at least forfeit their investment money. I find it funny that MCX claims no exclusivity deals but it is odd that both RiteAid and CVS pulled the plug at the same time last weekend. I do believe the intent for CurrentC was to offer a new form of payment and not block ApplePay/Google Wallet. They started this JV back in 2012. However, I'm sure MCX went around and reminded their partners about the dangers of embracing a competing product when trying to launch your own. ;-)

It is sad timing for MCX to also announce that they've had email addresses stolen. Email addresses of their current beta customers and people who signed up for more info. It makes me wonder about their security when they are asking for my SSN, DL number and bank account info yet it has been demonstrated that they cannot keep email addresses secure. No thanks. CurrentC is not for me and I think this breach will hurt them (maybe fatally) in the long run.

Apple embracing NFC is a good thing. They have good marketshare and marketing thump to finally bring NFC payments into the light. Yes, Android has had NFC for 2 years. The issue with that is not all of the Android handset makers chose to adopt NFC and Google Wallet (not to mention slow adoption of the NFC capable POS terminals by retailers). You can be sure by this time next year, ALL of the major Android makers will have NFC capable phones. Maybe even Windows Phone as well. It will be interesting to see if Google Wallet changes to be more like Apple Pay but I think it would be hard for Google to give up the data mining they get with the current process. Matthew also hit upon a major factor in the coming adoption of NFC: EMV rule changes will finally bring the US out of the swipe-only card dark ages. As retailers are upgrading POS terminals over the next year, they might as well get the ones with NFC so they can accept even more forms of payments. I expect some time soon, retailers won't even have the option to get POS terminals that don't support NFC.

I look forward to seeing how the future shapes up with all of this. I think by 2020, credit cards won't even have a mag stripe on them. Then again, they still have raised numbers for the friction swipe terminals that went the way of the dodo 20 years ago. ;-)

Thanks for the interesting and detailed thoughts.

To be clear: I want NFC. I want to be able to pay by clicking "yes" on my phone.

I just think that greedy self-interests that have ruined this before, and they'll ruin it again.

Tom, I too have enjoyed this conversation. I agree that the greedy self-interests are trying their damnedest to stop it. I think they will lose in the long run. Meijer in the Midwest is an MCX partner but they support ApplePay/Google Wallet. Maybe RiteAid and CVS will grow a set and follow suit. If they don't, they might find customers voting with the feet and their money.

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