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You are here: MacNN Forums > News > Mac News > CurrentC rollout delayed again, 'refocus' forcing 30 layoffs

CurrentC rollout delayed again, 'refocus' forcing 30 layoffs
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May 17, 2016, 08:30 AM
The CEO of Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX) has announced that the consortium has taken the decision to postpone the rollout of the alternative app-based smartphone payment system. In the interim, the company has decided to shift its emphasis to other aspects of its operations, which includes focusing on working directly with financial institutions on a case-by-case basis as it works to scale its mobile payments solutions -- effectively a long-term benching of the threatened Apple Pay competitor.

Originally planned to be a competing platform to fingerprint-based mobile wallets like Apple Pay and Google Pay, the merchant-owned mobile commerce network has hit a number of hurdles in coming to market, including issues with trial participants' having their data hacked, as well as user interface that has met with heavy criticism from early testers for being too clunky.

"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," MCX CEO Brian Mooney said in a statement.

As part of this transition, MCX will postpone a nationwide rollout of its CurrentC application. "As MCX has said many times, the mobile payments space is just beginning to take shape -- it is early in a long game. MCX's owner-members remain committed to our future."

"As a result, MCX will need fewer resources," Mooney added. "This change has resulted in staff reduction of approximately 30 employees. These are very tough decisions, but necessary steps. For those employees leaving us, we want to thank our colleagues for their hard work and dedication to MCX over the last several years."

MCX has not provided a timeframe where any national launch may take place. It had originally hoped to launch the ConnectC platform in 2015, but that was later pushed back to 2016.

With the latest announcement, it appears that user feedback, coupled with the challenge of scaling the platform nationally, could be proving more difficult than it had anticipated. The PayPal acquisition of Paydiant, the backbone of the ConnectC backend, cast a shadow on the technology. After the buyout by the competing financial service, it was unclear how ConnectC would continue to develop its platform with PayPal more focused on its own products and services, than with MCX.
( Last edited by NewsPoster; Jun 1, 2016 at 12:42 AM. )
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May 17, 2016, 12:30 PM
Meanwhile, stores like CVS still refuse to turn on the ApplePay feature of their credit card terminals. Thank you Walgreens!
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May 17, 2016, 08:37 PM
Shorter version: "This technology is an obviously moribund solution so inferior to competing alternatives that absolutely nobody wants it, but our corporate partners have dumped too much money into it to let it die yet, so we're going to keep the lights on and pretend we're working for a while before laying off the rest of the workforce and turning the lights out."

The irony is that after CVS went out of their way to disable ApplePay despite having working NFC readers (I even bought something there on day 1 with an iPhone, before they disabled it) I started intentionally shopping there less despite it being the closest big drugstore. Because of the security benefit, it's reached the point where if I have a choice between two stores and one of them accepts ApplePay, I'm always going to pick that one.
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