WalMart, Target, Best Buy, and other major retailers will begin testing their own version of a mobile wallet, bringing direct competition against Apple Pay. Merchant Customer Exchange, or MCX, is a consortium of worldwide retailers, and the group has developed a mobile payments app called CurrentC
. Though the success of the app depends largely on its functionality compared to Apple Pay, the introduction of another mobile wallet to the retail industry could bring more change to the payments industry.
CurrentC Gets Its First Test
MCX will start by testing CurrentC in select markets. Retailers around Columbus, Ohio, will be the first to feature the technology. The public will be able to acquire the app through a beta program, who will be able to pay for their products using a scannable transaction code on their mobile devices.
CurrentC has been in development for nearly three years. While only a small fraction of shoppers choose to pay via mobile wallet, it’s still an emerging payment platform that a pro-retailer program like CurrentC could thrive in. Apple and Google have already laid some claim to mobile wallets, but CurrentC could be a contender if developed and released to the public in the right manner.
The Growth of Mobile Wallets
Consumers have been slow to take on mobile wallets, with only a fraction of shoppers actively using them. Experts believe this is merely due to the familiarity of paying with cash or with a card, and lack of incentive to pay with phones.
CurrentC plans to launch mobile wallets as the payment method of the future by tying customers’ rewards accounts and special discounts to mobile payments. This will help to enhance the user experience of mobile payments, and will encourage consumers to use their mobile wallet habitually.
Apple Pay has brought mobile wallets a certain amount of popularity among iPhone users, but for those who may not have the capability to use Apple Pay, CurrentC may emerge as a viable option. Of course, there are security concerns when using any mobile payment application, and consumers will always be wary of those. But, if CurrentC’s launch is successful, simply having another option will serve to increase the popularity of mobile wallets.
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