MCX Responds to Reports of Hacked Emails, Fines for Accepting Apple Pay
Oct. 30, 2014
MCX, developer of the merchant-led mobile payments initiative CurrentC currently in pilot with merchants around the U.S., acknowledged yesterday it’s systems had been compromised, resulting in the theft of an unknown number of email addresses. MCX CEO Dekkers Davidson said the attack targeted MCX’s email provider and exposed only the email addresses of CurrentC’s pilot testers and did not touch the payment system at all. While Davidson stressed that the breach occurred with a third-party partner, he refused to name the email provider during a press conference yesterday.
“We take responsibility at CurrentC for everything that happens here,” Davidson told an audience of media members during a live webcast press conference. “I own it. CurrentC owns it.”
Davidson said the hack will have no impact on the planned rollout, which he said is still on course for early 2015. He also noted this is not the first attempt to breach CurrentC’s defenses, nor was the company caught unprepared.
“One of the reasons we have launched the way we have launched is to test our systems in a safe environment,” said Davidson. “We expected attacks. There have been many attacks and we will deal with them.”
During the press conference, Davidson also responded to a New York Times report published yesterday that said MCX merchants that are refusing to accept rival Apple Pay – including major retailers like Walmart, Best Buy and CVS – are doing so to avoid financial retribution.
“Under the terms of their agreement, they are not supposed to accept competing mobile payment products like Apple Pay, according to multiple retailers involved with MCX, who spoke on the condition of anonymity,” the Times report said. “If these retailers break their contracts, they will face steep fines for doing so, these people said.”
Davidson flatly denied MCX is applying pressure not to accept competing payment methods like Apple Pay by fining its merchants.
“No,” he stated. “There are no fines to MCX merchants. We are aware of the reporting on that. There is nothing in the structure that would have us do that. As I said earlier, MCX merchants are free to make the right choice for their consumers. Each merchant has developed over the years a great approach to engage their consumers. It’s simply not true. There are no fines.”