CurrentC to Begin Consumer Testing Phase

July 30, 2015

Current C to Begin Consumer Testing Phase MCX, the merchant-backed initiative developing a contactless mobile payment system to compete with Apple Pay and others, this week confirmed a Bloomberg News report that its CurrentC mobile solution is moving from an employee test into a limited pilot test phase with consumers. MCX was introduced with much fanfare nearly three years ago but has run into delays, the defection of a founding member and a change in leadership .

In the interim, Apple Pay was introduced and, while it is catching on slowly with retailers, has established its position as the most popular in-store mobile payment solution. MCX, however, doesn’t see mobile payments as a zero-sum game.

“We expect there to be more than one successful player in mobile payments, and we expect to be one of them,” said Scott Rankin, COO of MCX.

At the moment, MCX has been unable to come to an agreement with any of the major credit-card brands. Consumers would have to link the mobile app to their bank account or a store credit card to use it in stores. Also, three-year contracts, in which merchants that signed on to MCX pledged to use MCX’s mobile solution exclusively, are ending with at least one major retailer—Best Buy—announcing it would accept Apple Pay. CurrentC still has broad backing from the merchant community. Whether its announcement of a new testing phase will keep those merchants on board and exclusive is unclear.