Remember MCX CurrentC, the QR-code based mobile payment system that attempted to take on Apple Pay? Launched two years ago, it immediately started creating waves when it required its retail members to switch off Apple Pay or be fined. If that weren’t bad enough, it was quickly hacked.

Apple Pay fans made fun of the service in app reviews, and it wasn’t long before retailers started to break ranks and we saw some rapid back-pedalling on Apple Pay from one CEO before he was replaced by another.

Little has been heard from MCX since, and it’s no surprise that the consortium finally appears to be giving up on the idea – though it has stopped a little way short of admitting as much …

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In a statement to TechCrunch, MCX said that it had decided to focus ‘on other aspects of our business,’ that it would ‘postpone’ the nationwide rollout of CurrentC and was sacking 30 employees.

Utilizing unique feedback from the marketplace and our Columbus pilot, MCX has made a decision to concentrate more heavily in the immediate term on other aspects of our business including working with financial institutions, like our partnership with Chase, to enable and scale mobile payment solutions. As part of this transition, MCX will postpone a nationwide rollout of its CurrentC application […] This change has resulted in staff reduction of approximately 30 employees. 

For ‘postpone,’ I think it’s safe to say we can substitute ‘abandon.’

Even MCX member Walmart, which said in 2014 that it would never accept Apple Pay, has given up on CurrentC and developed its own payment system instead.

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