Apple Pay and MCX’s CurrentC are going head-to-head in select stores, finally. After much discussion regarding which would be more successful – the Apple created mobile payment option – or the MCX created version, which came to fruition with a coalition of stores coming together and joining forces in supporting a payment method that doesn’t belong to Apple.
MCX’s CurrentC version is one that utilizes connection to checking accounts rather than a connection to a credit card, and according to the stores which are within the family of CurrentC supporters, it didn’t initially seem like any of those participating stores would include Apple Pay as an option in their stores.
Retailers such as Walmart, Best Buy, CVS, Gap, Target, and several others make up this coalition, of the sorts, and have all shot down the notion of accepting Apple Pay in their stores.
However, that trend is no more. One giant retailer that is focused in the Midwest have determined that it would be in their best interest to offer both, and Meijer will be that retailer. This is somewhat controversial because some have hinted that fines could be levied on those within the MCX group, if they were to offer the competing payment method – but MCX themselves have denied that.
Frank Guglielmi, a Meijer spokesman, was adamant about the company’s position when it comes to Apple Pay. “We have had the technology in our stores to accept mobile wallets for several years now. If a customer has Apple Pay capability, our hardware works with it.” He even went on to note that the company has no plans to “remove or disable these systems.”
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Meijer though has not left the MCX family. The company is listed on both websites respectively, as accepting CurrentC, as well as Apple Pay. However, it was made clear by Scott Rankin, MCX’s COO that those retailers within the CurrentC program are not allowed to use Apple Pay without any sort of financial penalty.
Though there are conflicting reports as to which is accurate, and whether retailers will be facing fees or penalties if they opt to use both, it would seem like a bad sign for MCX that they cannot stay on the same page regarding this particular issue. MCX though has been facing a lot of criticism this week though, beyond just Meijer’s allowance of Apple Pay in their stores.
CurrentC came under fire for being hacked before the payment method had been hacked, prior to the actual launch of the mobile payment method. This was a major blow to the company since this is the same payment method that doesn’t take credit cards, but rather collects social security numbers and checking account numbers instead.
It will be interesting to see how both fare against each other, when the time comes in Meijer stores, and how the company is treated within the MCX family during that period of offering both.