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  5. > Apple Pay vs. CurrentC: The battle for the US mobile wallet

Introduction

In September 2014, Apple announced the Apple Pay mobile payment service, which would allow consumers to pay for goods wirelessly in shops using their new iPhones. This represented a further movement of the technology into the mainstream. However, attempts have been made by MCX, a consortium of retailers, to topple Apple in the US mobile payment market with its own alternative, CurrentC.

Features and benefits

* Assesses the strategic and commercial objective of both Apple Pay and CurrentC.
* Identifies the key aspects of Google, Samsung and PayPal's operations in the mobile payment sector.

Highlights

Apple Pay uses NFC technology which, while secure, is not as well entrenched in the US retail sector as it is in other markets, such as the UK. A key aspect of Apple's strategy with its mobile payment service is the fact that it furthers the 'lock-in-effect' that the company's ever-expanding technology and service ecosystem holds over consumers.
CurrentC requires a substantial amount of user information, which can be used by retailers for customer relationship management (CRM) purposes, although, given the fact that CurrentC suffered a data security breach less than two months after its announcement, this will certainly serve to put off potential users.
Internet search giant Google has been active in the mobile payments market for far longer than either Apple or MCX, having launched the somewhat unsuccessful Google Wallet, which uses NFC technology found in Apple Pay, as early as 2011. Google announced Android Pay in May 2015, which it will hope to take off on smartphones running its Android OS.

Your key questions answered

* Why has Apple decided to enter the mobile payments sector with Apple Pay?
* Why has CurrentC made such a storm in the press since its announcement?
* Will Apple Pay or CurrentC be able to kill the other system off in order to become the mobile payment system of choice?
* Do the operations of Google, Samsung and PayPal pose a threat to either Apple Pay or CurrentC?

Table Of Contents

Apple Pay vs. CurrentC: The battle for the US mobile wallet
OVERVIEW
Catalyst
Summary
APPLE PAY MAKING MOBILE PAYMENTS MAINSTREAM
Apple Pay announced alongside new iPhones, proves popular
Apple Pay aims to ensure security and privacy
NFC technology potentially limiting in the US
Apple Pay expands the appeal of the wider Apple ecosystem
Apple has the backing of leading US financial institutions and retailers
CURRENTC CHALLENGING FOR MOBILE PAYMENT DOMINANCE
CurrentC was created by retailers for retailers
Coupons and loyalty programs aid retailers in CRM big data analytics
Payment system allows retailers to dodge transaction fees
CurrentC technology not advanced but supports widespread availability
MCX partners have disabled NFC in stores
CurrentC security and brand image impacted by data breach
OTHER KEY COMPETITORS IN MOBILE PAYMENTS
Android Pay is Google's second bite at the apple
Samsung Pay compatible with existing point-of-sale terminals
PayPal also active in mobile payments
Consolidation a key trend in mobile payments
Google acquisition of Softcard technology removes barrier to market
Samsung's acquisition of LoopPay gave it key technology
PayPal acquires Paydiant to boost mobile wallet scale
CONCLUSIONS
Apple Pay has momentum, but rival services will benefit from tailwinds
APPENDIX
Sources
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