CurrentC to delay launch

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A mobile phone showing the MCX wallet
CurrentC to delay launch

CurrentC, the mobile payment platform developed by MCX, will kick off a public beta test within the next few weeks in Ohio, but may not push its service across the US until 2016, MCX CEO Brian Mooney told Recode in an interview published Wednesday.

MCX, which has been working on its mobile-payment platform for three years, had

A mobile phone showing the MCX wallet
CurrentC to delay launch

initially planned to launch the service across the US in 2015 – they did not respond to a request for confirmation and comment on Mooney’s statements.

Although Mooney reportedly cast the delay as a way for MCX to get its product “right,” it could provide an opening to companies like Apple that are already offering mobile-payment platforms, and even those who will soon enter the space, like Samsung and Google.

Still, MCX is widely viewed as a potential powerhouse in a crowded mobile-payments space. The company has the backing of some of the world’s largest retailers, including Walmart, Target, Kohl’s, and Best Buy.

Not content allowing third parties to handle mobile payment transactions on their own, the companies came together last year under the MCX banner, saying they would roll out CurrentC at their 110,000 locations around the US. Collectively, the retailers process over $1 trillion in annual transactions.

When CurrentC finally hits the retail space, it’ll be presented with a slew of competitors. In addition to Apple Pay and Samsung Pay, a host of other companies, including PayPal, are all eyeing ways to make a splash in the nascent mobile-payments industry. There is broad consensus that, in the future, consumers will increasingly turn to their smartphones to make payments, believing that the option is more secure and convenient.

Looking ahead, CurrentC has its own issues to face. MCX will have no trouble getting its retail owners to sign on, but getting it will need to get others to join in if it’s to offer consumers broad usage. CurrentC also only works with retailer credit cards, gift cards, and bank accounts. MCX has not ruled out support for major credit cards, but has not said when, or if, it’ll offer such an option.

For now, though, the company says time is on its side. In his interview with Recode, Mooney said that mobile payments “is a long game” and he doesn’t want to rush his company’s platform before it’s ready.

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