That Was Fast: Apple Pay Rival CurrentC Is Dead


Apple and Google have already taken down one mobile payment rival.

The Merchant Consortium Exchange (MCX), a group of merchants that were planning to build a near-field communications payment platform to compete with Apple Pay and Android Pay, among others, have waved the white flag.

In an email obtained by The Consumerist, the consortium said it's suspending its CurrentC beta program on June 28 and eliminating all user accounts that day. The consortium provided no insight into what the future might hold for the platform, but it certainly sounds like it's headed to the mobile payments graveyard.

MCX is made up of a wide range of prominent retailers, including Target, Walmart, Kmart, and others. The companies, fearing that they'd be cut out of the mobile-payments business by alternatives from Apple, Google, Samsung, and others, reasoned that they would deliver their own option to compete.

In addition, some of the companies in the consortium, including CVS and Rite Aid, refused to support Apple Pay after joining the consortium, though they eventually relented.

MCX only recently launched a beta in Columbus, Ohio, after several delays and was forced to lay off 30 employees last month. The service also reportedly suffered a hack before it even got a chance to offer its tools to customers, and had trouble making deals with banks.

Meanwhile, Apple Pay, Android Pay, and others are increasingly adding support from a wide range of banks, merchants, and other organizations.

MCX did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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