1. Akshay Masand's Avatar


    According to the folks over at MacWorld, CurrentC will be exiting its limited trials phase and officially launching in one US market over the next few months. CurrentC recently released a statement mentioning that initial availability “will be determined based on a number of factors including retail support, infrastructure and consumer population.” This move indicates that Apple’s iPhone-based Apple Pay service will soon see its first major competition in the mobile payments space.

    Unlike Apple Pay which utilizes NFC technology to complete credit and debit card-based transactions, CurrentC relies on what many claim is a less secure means of payment processing. CurrentC requires customers to use their smartphone to take a picture of a one-time QR code generated at an MCX point-of-sale terminal. The payment amount is directly deducted from a user’s bank account which is linked with CurrentC on the backend.

    Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX) CEO, Dekkers Davidson, previously noted that POS terminals which offer support for CurrentC are also compatible with NFC systems. This means that Apple Pay can technically be used on hardware at partner merchant locations. That being said, retailers in the consortium inked exclusivity agreements that preclude them from using alternative forms of electronic payment – something that Davidson considered was necessary for a rollout to be successful.

    For those of you who didn’t know, CurrentC is backed by MCX which entered the public eye after partner merchants, CVS and Rite Aid pulled support for Apple Pay after its debut in October. Other retailers which ended up doing the same include Best Buy and Wal-Mart. Previously Davidson mentioned that CurrentC’s exclusivity timeline would be “measured in months, not years,” which means that Apple Pay could start showing up at MCX merchants sooner rather than later.

    How do you feel CurrentC fares against Apple Pay? Share your thoughts below!

    Source: MacWorld

    Twitter: @AkshayMasand
    2015-04-08 04:41 AM
  2. kyphur's Avatar
    Honestly I don't think my smartphone manufacturer of merchant belongs in the middle of the transaction.

    Apple, Samsung and Google (more so than Samsung really) should provide a secure framework that doesn't go through them but links directly to the bank. Each bank decides to support and use the framework directly or through a processor (maybe even the credit card companies).

    There are too many hands dipping into the pot, sure the consumer doesn't directly pay any additional fees but that's how it is now with direct credit card processing. Does anyone really believe that the retailers don't pass along the credit card processing fees? Just because the banks are paying Apple their cut that doesn't earn they don't pass it along to us In higher fees and lower interest.
    2015-04-08 12:24 PM
  3. RandyTG's Avatar
    The CurrentC system is different. There is no credit card and so no credit card fee, which is why retailers would like this system better. You link to your bank account like an electronic debit card. From a consumers stand point, I don't think this will be as popular as they think as your money is deducted from your checking, so instantly gone instead of a credit card that gives you time to pay. I like my credit card as I get 2% back every year in the form of cash. Apple might be the "man in the middle", but their system is more secure.
    2015-04-08 02:25 PM
  4. kyphur's Avatar
    I understand how CurrentC works, it is less secure because if the system is compromised then they have direct access to your bank account with none of the protections of a Credit Card.

    I still think the OS Companies should provide the secure conduit without taking a piece of the action. Their benefit is they get the user base for their platform.
    2015-04-08 04:39 PM
  5. csglinux's Avatar
    I agree kyphur, but the merchant does not pay any extra processing fees to process a transaction via Apple pay instead of a regular credit card (which stores like CVS still happily accept).

    I seriously wonder how many Americans 1) have plenty of spare cash in their accounts, so they'd rather pay directly from their checking account than via credit card and 2) implicitly trust every store they visit to keep their bank account details confidential and not release them on-mass to the next hack/security breach.

    Personally, I think it's nuts that I can pull out my iPhone in CVS, have it pop-up my credit card on the phone once the NFC registers, have the touch ID confirm the purchase, only for the terminal to report "Contactless payment blocked". This is why I don't shop at CVS anymore. I hope CurrentC crashes and burns.
    2015-04-08 06:32 PM
  6. bmwraw8482's Avatar
    I just want something to happen with currentC so it can either take off or be killed off
    2015-04-08 09:01 PM
  7. fleurya's Avatar
    "The payment amount is directly deducted from a user’s bank account which is linked with CurrentC on the backend."

    And that is exactly why everybody should avoid this payment method like ebola! With all the data breeches these days, theres is no reason for any sane person to trust a third party with their bank account details. Unlike a credit card where you are protected from fraud, if a hackers gets their hands on your checking account info and drains your account, you are totally screwed!

    In short ARE YOU CRAZY??? NO THANKS!!!

    Honestly I don't think my smartphone manufacturer of merchant belongs in the middle of the transaction.

    Apple, Samsung and Google (more so than Samsung really) should provide a secure framework that doesn't go through them but links directly to the bank. Each bank decides to support and use the framework directly or through a processor (maybe even the credit card companies).

    There are too many hands dipping into the pot, sure the consumer doesn't directly pay any additional fees but that's how it is now with direct credit card processing. Does anyone really believe that the retailers don't pass along the credit card processing fees? Just because the banks are paying Apple their cut that doesn't earn they don't pass it along to us In higher fees and lower interest.
    I would trust to keep my CC info on my phone and under my control like a CC in pocket before handing my CC or bank account over to a third party for reasons mentioned above.

    As for the transaction fees, those are pretty much standard across all merchants set by VISA/Mastercard and don't vary depending on how the credit card info is taken for payment (swipe, NFC, chip/pin, etc). A huge portion of the processing fee goes toward fraud expense, because the card issuers incur the fraud expense, not the consumer. Apple Pay makes such a huge leap in fraud protection that the card issuers are willing to pay Apple because they will actually come out ahead on fraud savings overall, so they don't have to pass the cost on to the consumer. Plus, if they tried raising transaction fees for everyone just for the realtively miniscule transsactions going through Apple Pay the big retailers would push back pretty hard and issuers would relent.
    2015-04-08 11:13 PM
  8. kyphur's Avatar
    I agree kyphur, but the merchant does not pay any extra processing fees to process a transaction via Apple pay instead of a regular credit card (which stores like CVS still happily accept).
    I understand that ApplePAY doesn't cost the merchant anything additional. I have never heard that the merchant pays a lesser fee through ApplePAY than a direct CC transaction. The banks do have to pay a percentage to Apply for each ApplePAY transaction and that's something I oppose. We as customers of the banks will have to cover that additional expense of higher fees, interest rates or lower returns on our savings. Banks always pass expenses along to the customers...

    Wouldn't it be great if the banks only required retailers to store signature, last four of cc#, time stamp and approval code. That would render data breeches moot as the criminals couldn't use the stored data to steal.
    2015-04-08 11:21 PM
  9. kyphur's Avatar
    Plus, if they tried raising transaction fees for everyone just for the realtively miniscule transsactions going through Apple Pay the big retailers would push back pretty hard and issuers would relent.
    Maybe for now the number of transactions going through ApplePAY is small but eventually it will increase and what happens when the banks realize they're absorbing millions in ApplePAY fees? Banks are in business to make money, they'll pass the expense along.

    The banks don't control transaction fees, VISA & MasterCard do. The banks are the ones who pay Apple. Do you think the banks are ok absorbing a cost that reduces Visa & MasterCard fraud expenses?
    2015-04-08 11:27 PM
  10. psxcancer's Avatar
    In the end I don't think it will won't matter. Everyone knows Android is less secure than iOS and yet people still stay with Android. It will be successful for the diehard Android user and and those who look into it will avoid it.
    2015-04-08 11:55 PM
  11. SpiderManAPV's Avatar
    In the end I don't think it will won't matter. Everyone knows Android is less secure than iOS and yet people still stay with Android. It will be successful for the diehard Android user and and those who look into it will avoid it.
    Well, so is a jailbroken iPhone and that seems to stop a lot of people around here too.

    ......beware......
    Just your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man!
    2015-04-09 12:03 AM
  12. qumahlin's Avatar
    I understand how CurrentC works, it is less secure because if the system is compromised then they have direct access to your bank account with none of the protections of a Credit Card.

    I still think the OS Companies should provide the secure conduit without taking a piece of the action. Their benefit is they get the user base for their platform.

    You want them to provide a secure service without taking any cut. Your argument is that they benefit by getting the userbase...they already have the userbase. They don't need to provide you anything. You're going to carry a phone regardless of its ability to double as your credit card and the odds of you switching phones to utilize a technology that won't be truly universally supported until the new Visa/MC merchant agreements become active in 2019 is unlikely.

    So no, there is no benefit to them providing a secure framework which will require maintenance and audits and all sorts of other costs for free. When it comes to NFC credit card usage there are more benefits for the bank versus the consumer, so the idea of expecting companies to give very rich financial institutions something like this for free is hysterical. You might as well tell your bank to start making phones.
    Last edited by qumahlin; 2015-04-09 at 05:45 AM.
    2015-04-09 05:43 AM
  13. psxcancer's Avatar
    Well, so is a jailbroken iPhone and that seems to stop a lot of people around here too.
    Most (if not all) jailbreaks, require the device owner to initiate the jailbreak process. If The exploit is serious enough, someone in the JB Community will patch the vulnerability via Cydia (after you've successfully jailbroke your mobile device of course).
    2015-04-09 11:12 PM
  14. SpiderManAPV's Avatar
    Most (if not all) jailbreaks, require the device owner to initiate the jailbreak process. If The exploit is serious enough, someone in the JB Community will patch the vulnerability via Cydia (after you've successfully jailbroke your mobile device of course).
    Absolutely, but even the act of jailbreaking leaves you open, even if you're smart and plug the hole and change your ssh password (seriously people, change that password). Most serious Android programs require rooting too, in my (albeit small) experience.

    Regardless, that wasn't the really the point I was trying to make. Your original point was that people still use Android even though it's unsafe, while I was simply pointing out that jailbreaks are just as unsafe. How unsafe you're willing to make something just depends on the usefulness of the product. It's up to each user to decide. While I certainly won't just hand out my banking info to this app, others might simply because of the convenience. Presumably when jailbreaking we understand the risk involved and did it anyway. It's risk reward, and quite simply it seems that the risk is much higher than the reward in this particular instance.

    ......beware......
    Just your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man!
    2015-04-10 12:54 AM
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