A merchant-backed mobile app and competitor to Apple Pay called CurrentC has officially shutdown its beta. There's no word on whether it will re-emerge.
Many are unsurprised. A couple of years ago, a network of merchants called the Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX) banded together to create this Apple Pay alternative. This group included major retailers like Rite Aid, Walmart, and CVS. CurrentC allowed consumers to pay at stores with their phones and get access to discounts. The idea was that the app would link directly to consumers' bank accounts and the merchants could avoid credit card fees. But from the beginning, the making of this app was fraught with difficulty.
In the last two years, the app's launch has suffered delays, and MCX has seen staff layoffs, according to Recode. Now the beta CurrentC app has been closed and all accounts are being deactivated. In the wake of CurrentC's issues, some MCX merchants like Best Buy have decided to start accepting Apple Pay. Meanwhile, Walmart has forged ahead with its own branded payment app: Walmart Pay. RR