CurrentC, the mobile payment system being developed by a group of retailers — and a competitor to Apple Pay — has already been hacked.
CurrentC is sending warning emails to beta users of its app to notify them that “unauthorized third parties obtained the email addresses of some of you.”
Even though no payment information was compromised, this is still bad timing for the Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX), a consortium of merchants led by Walmart that has teamed up to create CurrentC.
An alternative to CurrentC is Apple Pay, which had 1 million credit card activations in its first 72 hours of existence last week. On Monday, Apple CEO Tim Cook called the early adoption of Apple Pay system “fantastic,” and said that it is already the nation’s largest mobile wallet program.
He also noted the “skirmish” with retailers like Walmart, CVS and Rite Aid that are prohibiting customers from using Apple Pay because they are part of MCX. Cook touted the Apple Pay service as a more secure and private mobile payment system.
“In the long arc of time, you only are relevant as a retailer or a merchant if you customers love you,” Cook said.
The CurrentC system is now in beta testing and set for a 2015 debut. It’s a completely different take on mobile payments from Apple Pay, requiring cashiers and customers to use QR codes to transfer money directly from a user’s bank account. The system is also designed to side-step credit card fees, which take a small percentage off the top of every transaction a merchant makes.