I’ve been using Apple Pay for just one week, but I’m already impressed with it. I’m eager for the service to expand to the point where it will be able to replace my debit and credit cards.
Apple Pay’s aim is to replace the traditional debit or credit card by saving the respective card’s information directly into your phone, thereby allowing you to use an NFRC reader at a store. One thing that sets Apple Pay apart from other electronic wallet solutions is an extra layer of protection. Though you make a payment or purchase with Apple Pay, the merchant never receives any personal information. The merchant only receives an authorization code, which is like a middle man between your actual card and the merchant/Apple Pay.
Apple has been partnering with several merchants to roll out Apple Pay in their stores and mobile applications. However, finding businesses that support Apple Pay has been difficult. While some merchants are exploring the possibilities of adopting Apple Pay, if they haven’t already, some have no plans to and are building a mobile payment system of there own.
One of these services is called CurrentC, and is a flagship product of Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX). CurrentC utilizes a smartphone app to make purchases. When a user wants to pay with CurrentC, they will be able to scan a QR Code displayed to them at the time of purchase or have the cashier scan a QR Code provided by the app. One of the differences between CurrentC and Apple Pay is the fact that you must provide your checking account number and other personal information. CurrentC will then transfer the payment via ACH, charge card, or gift card.
Now, for the the big news. CurrentC hasn’t even launched yet, and they have already had a data breach. With Apple Pay, your card is stored securely on your phone, and the card number never leaves your phone. You must also contact your bank to have your card enabled for use with Apple Pay. Yet still, several merchants are planning on continuing to support CurrentC and not activating Apple Pay.
Merchants want to continue to support and launch CurrentC because, this way, they can use ACH payment options instead of debit cards and save money. Using CurrentC may also award extra discounts, as the merchants do not have to pay the associated card fees.
What can we do to change The Merchants?
Announced recently, Android Pay may help with this, but it is our responsibility as users, and customers, to support mobile payment systems, such as Google Wallet and Android Pay. By supporting businesses that support these services, we are telling them that we want NFRC payment options such as Apple Pay and Android Pay.
Apple Pay and Android Pay will continue to grow and evolve though, regardless of early merchant hesitation. Best Buy and Home Depot have said that they plan to roll out Apple Pay in the near future. Target, which had the largest data breach in history, has promised to support Apple Pay in the near future.
Your bank must sign up for Apple Pay and become part of a list that contains to grow. My bank recently singed up for Apple Pay and plans on rolling it out in July. I’ve been testing it over the past week. You can view Apple’s Bank Partner list using this link. You can also view a list of retailers that support Apple Pay using this link.