Meijer is first MCX member to break ranks, continuing to support Apple Pay

meijer

While CurrentC consortium MCX’s contracts state that members cannot accept competing forms of mobile payment, Midwest grocery chain Meijer appears to be the first member to break ranks by continuing to allow NFC payment – including Apple Pay.

Michigan Live quotes spokesman Frank Guglielmi as saying that the chain’s 213 grocery and gas outlets have no plans to block Apple Pay.

We have had the technology in our stores to accept mobile wallets for several years now. If a customer has Apple Pay capability, our hardware works with it [...] We don’t plan to remove or disable these systems.

Meijer is currently shown on both Apple Pay and MCX websites:

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Apple Pay fans express displeasure at MCX in app ratings; consortium suggests possible future switch to NFC

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While the MCX consortium’s CurrentC mobile payment service isn’t due to launch until next year, it has been carrying out limited trials, facilitated by placing the app in the iTunes store. iPhone owners have been expressing their displeasure at the blocking of Apple Pay by MCX members by rating and reviewing the app.

At the time of writing, the app had accumulated 2,856 1-star reviews against a total of just 30 reviews giving it 2 stars or more …  Read more

MCX: Merchants accepting both CurrentC and Apple Pay ‘entirely possible’ in the future

Apple Pay CurrentC

Earlier this week, retailers CVS and Rite Aid blocked NFC payments at their stores following the launch of Apple Pay because of their existing commitment to MCX’s CurrentC platform. Nevertheless, MCX CEO Dekkers Davidson assures that merchants accepting both CurrentC and Apple Pay “could be entirely possible” in the future.

The blockade has ignited somewhat of a controversy between Apple Pay and MCX, only worsened by the fact that it was confirmed that CurrentC suffered a security breach earlier this morning. MCX, or Merchant Customer Exchange, consists of a number of high-profile retailers that grouped together to work on their own CurrentC contactless payments platform. Read more

MCX’s CurrentC, the infamous Apple Pay competitor, says its already been hacked

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CurrentC, the much discussed infamous competitor to the Apple Pay mobile payments platform, has some more bad press coming its way. According to an email sent out this morning to its pilot program customers, the MCX service has already been hacked. According to the notice, “unauthorized third parties” obtained email address information for an unannounced number of users:

Thank you for your interest in CurrentC. You are receiving this message because you are either a participant in our pilot program or requested information about CurrentC. Within the last 36 hours, we learned that unauthorized third parties obtained the e-mail addresses of some of you. Based on investigations conducted by MCX security personnel, only these e-mail addresses were involved and no other information.

In an abundance of caution, we wanted to make you aware of this incident and urge you not to open links or attachments from unknown third parties. Also know that neither CurrentC nor Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX) will ever send you emails asking for your financial account, social security number or other personally identifiable information. So if you are ever asked for this information in an email, you can be confident it is not from us and you should not respond.

MCX is continuing to investigate this situation and will provide updates as necessary. We take the security of your information extremely seriously, apologize for any inconvenience and thank you for your support of CurrentC.

For those not following the MCX vs. Apple Pay saga, MCX powers a payments platform utilized by key retailers such as WalMart, CVS, and RiteAid. After initially supporting NFC-based payments via Apple Pay and Google Wallet, those aforementioned retailers shut down their industry standard NFC-based payment processing systems in favor of the CurrentC app from MCX.

MCX has since responded to this controversy on its website, and Apple CEO Tim Cook referred to the entire situation as a “skirmish.” Meanwhile, reports have indicated that retailers are playing along with MCX in order to avoid fines discussed in early contractual agreements. Nonetheless, Apple Pay has already amassed over a million activations, becoming the most ubiquitous mobile payments platform in just about a week.

MCX has confirmed that the email to customers is legitimate and said the following:

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MCX responds to Apple Pay blocking controversy with unconvincing ‘assurances’

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MCX, the retailer consortium behind the CurrentC mobile payment system, has responded to the controversy over its members being required to block Apple Pay or face fines with some unconvincing ‘assurances.’

The first sign of trouble between MCX and Apple Pay was when CVS disabled NFC functionality from its payment terminals. When Rite Aid joined in, consumers responded by threatening to boycott MCX members.

In a blog post which MCX says is designed to “set the record straight,” it appears to do anything but …  Read more

CurrentC retailers contractually obligated not to accept competing payment services, may face fines if they do

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As we reported in our initial coverage of the CurrentC payment system, the New York Times has confirmed today that MCX partners working on the system are contractually required to accept CurrentC exclusively. Any retailers that decide to accept other payment services, such as Apple Pay, will be fined:

The problem is that under the terms of their MCX contractual agreement, they are not supposed to accept competing mobile payments products like Apple Pay, according to multiple retailers involved with MCX, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. If these retailers break their contracts, they will face steep fines for doing so, these people said.

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Tim Cook: Apple Pay received over 1 million activations in first 72 hours, bigger than all contactless competitors combined

Apple Pay iOS 8.1

Apple chief executive Tim Cook confirmed just moments ago in a live interview at The Wall Street Journal: Digital conference that Apple Pay received over 1 million activations in the first 72 hours following its launch last week. Cook added that the mobile payments platform is bigger than all contactless competitors combined, presumably including rival service Google Wallet. Read more

Walmart on why it doesn’t accept Apple Pay: ‘What matters is that consumers have a payment option that is widely accepted’

Apple Pay Banks

Apple Pay launched last week with widespread support at over 220,000 stores in the United States, although Walmart alongside CVS and Rite Aid are among some of the high-profile retailers that have not embraced the new mobile payments service. Now, Walmart has provided official comment as to why it doesn’t accept Apple Pay at its stores. Read more

Apple responds to CVS & Rite Aid blocking Apple Pay for CurrentC

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Apple has provided the following statement to Business Insider when asked about CVS and Rite Aid both blocking Apple Pay at their checkout terminals:

The feedback we are getting from customers and retailers about Apple Pay is overwhelmingly positive and enthusiastic. We are working to get as many merchants as possible to support this convenient, secure and private payment option for consumers. Many retailers have already seen the benefits and are delighting their customers at over 220,000 locations.

Earlier today CVS confirmed in a statement to CNBC that it will not be accepting Apple Pay after users previously reported being able to the chain’s NFC terminals: Read more

Leading NFC terminal maker Verifone encourages merchants to enable Apple Pay

If you’ve ever made a contactless credit card payment in a retail store, you’ve likely run into a VeriFone NFC-terminal: recent estimates put it at approximately 60% global market share for EMV payment terminals, for example. Today, the company is launching a new campaign along with payment processing company Vantiv that encourages Verifone’s massive network of clients to upgrade their terminals and get ready for Apple Pay: Read more

Apple in talks to expand NFC in iPhone 6 beyond Apple Pay, replace building keycards and transit tickets

apple-pay

The Information is reporting that Apple is actively scouting out partnerships to increase the utility of the NFC chip inside the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Right now, the chip can only be used for payments through Apple Pay as the API is not available to third-party developers.

The Information says that the company is talking to potential partners about using the technology for things like building security, public transit tickets and more. The report names that Apple has already been in talks with HID Global and Cubic, who make electronic ‘keycard’ secure building access and transit fare systems.

The Apple representatives have talked to technology providers like HID Global and Cubic, which enable secure access to buildings and transit fare systems, respectively, said people briefed on the discussions. Spokespeople for the companies declined to comment about any discussions with Apple, but executives there discussed how they could integrate their systems with the iPhone.

In fact, Apple has already announced a similar partnership with Starwood Hotels, where Apple users can replace hotel keycards with their Apple Watch, although this uses Bluetooth rather than NFC technology.

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CVS and Rite Aid Apple Pay blockade official as iOS and Android users unite in rare showing to fight NFC ban

apple-pay

The NYT reports that Rite Aid has joined CVS in disabling Apple Pay as a payment method in its stores. Like CVS, Rite Aid is a member of the Merchant Customer eXchange (MCX) consortium promoting a rival mobile payment service, CurrentC.

Consumers are responding by threatening to boycott stores which disable Apple Pay, with more than 2,000 comments across several Reddit threads on the topic. Android users are joining in, as disabling NFC also blocks alternative mobile payment services offered by higher-end Android handsets …  Read more