At a time when Apple Inc. is continuing to build its own mobile payments product – Apple Pay, an update to the CurrentC website confirms the upcoming shutdown of services. Meanwhile, Apple is building its mobile payment product with the addition of 34 credit unions and banks. At the end of June, US retailer-led consortium MCX will be ending the pilot of its CurrentC mobile wallet, and will be disabling all user accounts. They will be concluding their Beta on June 28, and have also not determined the future timing of CurrentC yet.
All customer accounts will be disabled as well. MCX informs that users removing a gift card with available balance must have their original gift card to access the amount, since their account information is not retained by CurrentC. And, if you do not have your physical card, use the remaining balance in your CurrentC before June 28 because once the card is deleted from your CurrentC, the remaining balance cannot be reissued.
As per the Consumerist, an email was sent by the Merchant Customer Exchange – a consortium of retailers responsible for developing the CurrentC platform – notifying beta testers in Columbus, Ohio, that the trial period of the program will end on June 28. Participating stores will not be able to process CurrentC transactions when the late June deadline rolls around.
CurrentC – never looked confident
Little insight has been offered by MCX regarding CurrentC’s future. MCX said the plans are in place to analyze the data accumulated from the beta period. A scheduled nationwide rollout was postponed by the consortium last month for the second time in as many years. Also, 30 employees were fired, airing speculations on the impending demise of the system.
CurrentC, which has been in development since 2012, was designed to link directly with the bank accounts of the customers. It was designed to allow major retailers like Walmart skirt credit card network fees. The start was quite rocky for the system, and soon it was challenged by tech sector players, including an in-house offering from the search giant and Apple Inc. .
MCX tried to limit the competition by restricting the retailers from accepting other NFC payment platforms, but late last year, industry pressure and ongoing troubles prompted Best Buy and Rite Aid to break rank. In May, Walmart also released its own branded solution.
Apple Pay continues to grow
Meanwhile, the Cupertino-based giant is aggressively expanding Apple Pay beyond the domestic market. Recently, the tech giant struck deals with “big five” bank holdouts of Canada. Apple Inc. ’s payments service is available in Canada, Singapore, the UK, Australia, China and the US. Reportedly, the future launches will be in Japan, Brazil and France.
A debut in Switzerland could be announced at WWDC next week, claimed a recent report. Such rumors are in-line with Apple’s current focus on extending its mobile payment product into Europe and Asian markets.