Competition Heats up in US Mobile Payments Market

Competition in the US mobile payments service arena is set to intensify later this year when the Merchant Content Exchange (MCX) launches its CurrentC platform, which is backed by several major American retailers.

Reports suggest that Microsoft is also preparing to join other mobile payments players to counter Apple Pay and Google’s Android-based payments service.

Details are still sketchy about the CurrentC service, but it is expected to merge payments and loyalty benefits and will give retailers further insight into the spending habits of customers who are members. Less is known about the benefits it may offer consumers.

A small-scale trial got underway last year and CurrentC is currently being tested in several undisclosed markets around the US, although its use is restricted to employees of member retailers, which include Walmart, 7-Eleven, Dunkin Donuts, Sears, Best Buy, Exxon Mobil and Gap.

CurrentC’s profile was raised last October last year when pharmacy chains CVS and Rite Aid, both MCX members, stopped accepting Apple Pay a week after it launched. At the time it was widely regarded as a bid to block the rival service while CurrentC was getting off the ground.

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