CurrentC might have to wait until 2016 to get its ass kicked

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Apple Pay is ready to dominate CurrentC.
Apple Pay is ready to dominate CurrentC.
Photo: Wells Fargo

Tim Cook has claimed that 2015 is going to be the year of Apple Pay, but it might not even face serious competition until 2016.

CurrentC, the payments app in development by the consortium of retailers called MCX, might not launch as soon as the company had hoped, the company’s CEO revealed in a recent interview.

Retailers’ exclusivity period with CurrentC is starting to end, with some stores like Rite Aid and Target planning to accept Apple Pay in the near future. MCX CEO Brian Mooney told Re/code that the company is rolling out a public pilot of its app in Columbus, Ohio, but won’t rush a wider rollout.

“This is a long game,” Mooney said. “Certainly going faster is always better — that’s not necessarily a debatable point. But we’re going to do it right.”

While MXC has slowly been developing CurrentC, Apple, Samsung and Google have already started battling it out for mobile-payments dominance. Apple Pay recently launched in the U.K. and can now be used at over 700,000 locations in the U.S. Stopping the tech giant’s momentum will be a tough task for the group of retailers that are planning to use loyalty cards and coupons to attract users.

CurrentC’s big draw for retailers is that it allows them to circumvent credit card payment fees by routing payments directly through users’ bank accounts. The apps is designed to work with iOS and Android. Rather than using NFC like Apple Pay and Google Pay though, CurrentC uses QR codes to initiate payments. It also doesn’t support traditional credit cards.

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