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The d-word: Which is doomed, Apple Pay or CurrentC?

The Macalope | Oct. 31, 2014
Looking for conclusions in all the wrong places.

Uh, right. They're both equally secure. Except that, unlike Apple Pay, which only stores your credit card number on your device, CurrentC will store your checking account information, your driver's license number, your social security number and, what the hey, also some of your health information, in the cloud.

Oh, and they've already had some email addresses stolen. Oopsies. Well, you can't make a committee-designed, hard to use, and insecure omelette without breaking some privacy eggs. Scrambled privacy eggs are some of the main ingredients!

What it boils down to is the fact that one technology is designed for the users (Apple) and the other is designed for the merchants (CurrentC). Normally I'd say that the product with the most user appeal will win but the power and size behind the CurrentC group is too big to ignore.

Apple Pay, meanwhile, has reportedly already signed up 3 million cards, which is about 3 million more accounts than CurrentC has. And it did that in about a week.

People aren't reliant on mobile payments at this point so stopping Apple Pay out of the gate is a strong move as almost nobody will miss it.

Except the credit card companies are already advertising it on World Series games and retailers not part of CurrentC, like Walgreens, are using Apple Pay as a differentiator.

Hey, iPhone 6 and 6 Plus users! The choice is yours: Use #ApplePay today at any of our stores!

Now for the Mombrea to drop the d-word.

If you can't use Apple Pay almost everywhere, it's doomed.

Here's the thing. CurrentC isn't even out yet. It won't be out until next year. Apple has months to build up good will. Meanwhile, merchants on the outside will be looking at all those thumb-unlocked impulse buys and getting as itchy as an MBA in a burlap suit. They will never gain significant traction with CurrentC. It's an insecure, customer-hostile system. Imagine being the person standing behind someone trying to scan a QR code. You might as well be standing behind someone writing a check. Or paying with chickens. The only thing retailers can do then is try to lock Apple Pay out, which is pointless. It's no worse financially for them than credit card transactions and it solves their recent security failings for them.

The d-word does apply here. It just doesn't apply to Apple Pay.


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