Talk about bitter rivalry. Apple Pay made headlines from a successful launch and within only 72 hours got a massive 1 million credit card signups. However, all does not seem well with some of the major retailers who had previously come together to form MCX (Merchant Customer Exchange) lead by Walmart.
MCX is working on their own mobile app called CurrentC which is supposed to allow customers to make payments in the future without using their credit cards while working as a loyalty card and allowing retailers to collect data on their customers’ spending habits. Bottom line, major retailers do not want to continue paying the 1.5 – 3% fees every time a customer swipe their cards.
Comparatively, CurrentC uses QR codes while Apple Pay uses NFC technology. Recently major retailers CVS and RiteAid had their radio wave sensors switched off in an apparent move to get customers to use other payment methods instead of Apple Pay. Customers who wish to use Apple Pay or Google Wallet at these retailers will not be able to do so (unless they switch it on back again).
Consumers on the other hand may be irked with this move. At the end of the day, retailers still have a choice on what type of payment method to offer their customers. On the flip side, customers also have the choice to shop somewhere else or use other forms of payment if they get irked. And most consumers are more keen to use a simple, smooth and hassle free way of paying which is where Apple Pay fits in nicely.
Does it look like CurrentC will pose a treat to Apple Pay? Most unlikely unless they are able to offer consumers some real outstanding savings to go with them.
Looks like more banks, retailers and merchants will be signing up for Apple Pay as Apple continues to make headway into international markets. If Alibaba’s Jack Ma decides to partner with Apple, am sure it’s going to be even better with access to China’s massive market!
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