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Dan Frommer on CurrentC, and Why Retailers Are Unlikely to Devise a System Customers Will Like

Dan Frommer:

While Apple Pay is designed to make payments as easy as possible — by riding on existing payments infrastructure, with security and privacy in mind — using CurrentC actually looks harder than typical payment techniques. Because it’s designed to skirt the existing credit-card infrastructure, CurrentC’s current version only supports payments via checking accounts and certain store cards. And it comes with a questionable privacy requirement: To “confirm your identity,” CurrentC demands both your driver’s license number and social security number.

When it comes to actually paying, the system gets even more cumbersome. CurrentC describes the process on its support site: You need to select a “Pay with CurrentC” option on the register, activate your phone, open the CurrentC app, enter a four-digit passcode, press the “Pay” button, “either scan the Secure Paycode that the cashier presents (default) or press the Show button at the bottom of your screen to allow the cashier to scan your Secure Paycode,” select the account you want to pay with, and then press a “Pay Now” button.

John Moltz quips:

Not only will I never use this system, I will strangle the first person I’m behind in a checkout line who tries to use it.

Friday, 31 October 2014