The next big thing just hit the next big roadblock. Someone trying to do it better than Apple can.
The Verge writes today that "Retailers are disabling NFC readers to shut out Apple Pay". Near Field Communication (NFC) allows the ApplePay to work and major retailers are shutting off this option so consumers do not get use to the ease of ApplePay before they launch their own new payment system.
There's a lot of hype around Apple Pay right now, but not everyone is on board with the new mobile payments system. In fact, a significant number of merchants, including heavyweights like Walmart, Kmart, 7-Eleven, and Best Buy, are in outright competition with Apple Pay. The retailers, through a joint venture formed in 2012, are building their own mobile payment app, called CurrentC. It's expected to launch next year. In the meantime, these retailers have no intention to support Apple Pay.
Is this allowed? I this legal? Most likely, yes. Some small businesses and bars are cash only to lessen operating costs, easily regulating what kind of payment options are allowed. How many times have you received and AMEX or Discover Card offer and not filled it out since so many vendors do not take either. I think I have used my AMEX twice in the past 12 years due to me not keeping it in my wallet due to its lack of acceptance. Companies often do not accept certain cards due to their high transaction fees and this seems to be the main drive behind CurrentC.
The notion of a widespread payment system controlled by retailers and free of credit card processing fees is very appealing to merchants. It should come as no surprise, then, that, in addition to Wal-Mart, the largest retailer in the world, CurrentC's partners include Gap, Old Navy, 7-Eleven, Kohls, Lowes, Dunkin' Donuts, Sam's Club, Sears, Kmart, Bed, Bath & Beyond, Banana Republic, Stop & Shop, and Wendy's — as well nearly all the major US gas station chains — among its ranks.
So will this list of CurrentC companies grow? Or will companies jump on the ApplePay bandwagon? Will this become a new credit / payment battle like Master Card vs. Visa , but now an ApplePay vs. CurrentC connundrum? Apple is already inflating its ranks to try to show strength in numbers.
A quick look at Apple's website explaining the service highlights just 34 retail partners that support the system. Five of those are different flavors of Foot Locker. One is Apple itself.
Are you excited about ApplePay? Will you use it or are you worried about your security? Will CurrentC be more successful since it bypasses the credit card companies, pulls from your checking account, and is able to be used by Apple and Andriod owners?