CurrentC holds a conference call with journalists about the Apple Pay shutoffs by big merchants. MCX CEO Davidson says the decision to shut off Apple Pay and Google Wallet is based on what stores believe customers want:
This is not a technology decision. It’s about consumer engagement.
He says it is ‘entirely possible’ and desirable in the future for the other payment systems to coexist:
We need to build the mobile commerce ecosystem to have two or three viable players. One won’t simply build the market. There is no harm from competition. It should happen.
Retailers tell the New York Times that there are fines involved under their contracts with MCX if they accept competing payment systems. The newspaper notes a projection by the Forrester consulting group that payments will become a $90 billion business. Some MCX customers are still waiting for CurrentC and could miss out on payments in the interim if Apply Pay becomes popular. They also risk creating customer resentment. Payments industry consultant:
These retailers are in a real jam. The last thing merchants want is ticking off their consumers over payment.
CVS and Rite Aid shut off the service as it apparently conflicts with the CurrentC mobile payment system developed by Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX). CurrentC, which generates a QR code on the merchant’s checkout terminal, is already partnered with WalMart, Best Buy, Target, and Sears. CurrentC reportedly works with existing checkout terminals, while Apple Pay requires merchants to purchase new equipment to communicate with the NFC chip in the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6+. Both Rite Aid and CVS are among those that don’t need to buy new equipment, so their decision to shut off the service is reported to be likely as solidarity with the other retailers.