The mobile payment battle

WASHINGTON (NBC News) – Just a week after launching, Apple Pay has run into a roadblock.

Over the weekend drug retailers CVS and Rite Aid announced they’ll no longer use Apple’s new mobile payment system, or the similar Google Wallet, even though they’d been working in stores.

The drug chains are part of a large consortium of retailers called MCX. They’re working on their own mobile pay system called Current C.

It’s slated to launch next year but unlike Apple Pay, Current C will connect directly to your bank account and bypass credit card companies, along with their associated fees.

Current C will also track consumer buying habits and tie into rewards programs. Critics say it isn’t as easy to use and requires much more work from the shopper.

Each system has its supporters, but consumers are going to want the best of both worlds.

“It’s in the best interests of shoppers for these consortiums to get together, but I don’t know if that’s going to happen anytime soon,” says Mark Spoonhauer of tech website TomsGuide.com.

Spoonhauer says CVS and Rite Aid are risking some consumer backlash for blocking Apple Pay, especially if its customers like using the payment system elsewhere.

The stakes are high.

Forrester Research estimates the market for mobile pay will grow from $12.5 billion in 2012 to $90 billion by 2017.”

 

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