Recently, a new competitor, CurrentC
, has surfaced.
The debut of Walmart Pay followed by a few weeks the public testing of CurrentC
and appeared to reflect Walmart's determination not to miss the opportunity to get into the mobile payment game because the MCX option was not ready for prime time.
was relatively unknown in the mobile payments space initially, it was thrust into the spotlight in 2014 when its partner merchants (http://www.ibtimes.com/cvs-rite-aid-baffle-payments-industry-decisions-block-nfc-apple-pay-1714093) CVS and Rite Aid disabled the contactless payment features of in-store terminals following the launch of Apple Pay.
, the merchant-based wallet from MCX, is expected to launch this year, with desirable capabilities such as rewards, contextual offers and loyalty features--things that are currently missing from Apple Pay.
MCX is building its own mobile wallet product, the aforementioned CurrentC
will bypass Visa and MasterCard, operating more like a mobile debit card.
Though Apple Pay has worked hard to partner with multiple retailers-Nike, Walgreens, Subway and Whole Foods among them-other major retailers such as Walmart, Kmart, 7-Eleven, Rite Aid and Best Buy are snubbing the system in favour of their own mobile payments app, CurrentC
. The competing apps are very similar, but CurrentC
currently has more than 40 retail partners, while Apple Pay stands around 30.
The Economist recently highlighted the pitched battle between Apple Pay and CurrentC
, which has pushed the technology further into the spotlight.
The two drugstore chains have joined retail giants Walmart and Target and others to field a rival app called CurrentC
, which is more like a coupon and rewards app that gives retailers information about who its users are and what they buy.
Apple still requires retailers to pay swipe fees, but others like CurrentC
have no fees and can be used with all brands of mobile phones.
* Visa Checkout and MasterPass have seen limited traction among the survey participants so far, but as many as 31% of respondents consider participating in CurrentC
, a merchant-owned mobile payment system.
Rite Aid also participates in the Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX) network, which uses the CurrentC
mobile payment platform.
Riordan said that at the same time, the financial industry is watching how mobile payment systems such as Apple Pay and CurrentC
will affect card use in the future with their added security features.