Retail Giants Readying Apple Pay Rival, CurrentC
When Apple announced its retail partners for its new Apple Pay service earlier this fall, several major companies that sell consumer electronics- including Best Buy and Walmart- was not on the list, although RadioShack was.
There's a reason for that: Those retailers, and others, are working on their own mobile payments platform. That they were working on it has been known for a while- we wrote about the agreement Best Buy, Walmart, Target, Sears and others had reached with the Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX) back in 2012- but a TechCrunch piece over the weekend has more details: The system is called CurrentC, and it's based on QR codes, and it's set to launch soon:
Long before Apple Pay, big brick-and-mortar retail chains were conspiring to sidestep the typical 2% to 3% fees they’re charged by credit card companies when consumers pay with credit. A company called MCX (Merchant Customer Exchange), spearheaded by Walmart, was started to build a mobile payment solution that would become an app called CurrentC that’s preparing to launch, but is already in the app stores.
Rather than NFC, CurrentC uses QR codes displayed on a cashier’s screen and scanned by the consumer’s phone or vice versa to initiate and verify the transaction. The system is also designed to automatically apply discounts, use loyalty programs, and charge purchases to a variety of payment methods without passing sensitive financial data to the merchant.