What Happened to CurrentC?

In light of Target (and a slew of other major retailers and restaurant chains) joining Apple Pay today, it’s worth a look back at CurrentC. This piece from last April by Nicholas L. Johnson is a good overview:

We’re waiting for CurrentC.

That was the response from a host of major retailers when Apple launched its much-awaited payments app, Apple Pay, in October 2014. While Apple consumers were excited, many retailers didn’t see much benefit. Apple Pay was built on top of existing credit and debit card infrastructure. It was just a shiny new interface on the same old payment mechanisms.

CurrentC was going to be different. For retailers, it was a way out. Many merchants don’t like the 2% to 3% that the major card networks charge when consumers pay with credit. That was all going to change.

I think Johnson’s conclusion that CurrentC solved a problem for retailers, not for consumers, is exactly right.

The last big holdout on Apple Pay in the US is Walmart, who spearheaded CurrentC. Update: Walmart’s the biggest, but there are a few big holdouts in the U.S., including Kroger, the country’s biggest supermarket chain.

Tuesday, 22 January 2019