Apple Pay was introduced in 2014 and is now accepted by 85% of US retailers. But the country’s most popular store, Walmart, is missing from that list. And it’s because they have a payment system of their own. It started with CurrentC. A company created by a group of retailers, including Best Buy, Target, and Walmart. Their goal was to develop a merchant-owned payment system that bypassed card transaction fees. Instead of paying 2-3% to credit card companies on each purchase, they would use a new payment technique that withdrew money directly from customers’ bank accounts. Another benefit of CurrentC was its data collection.
ALSO READ!!! Why iPhone’s Weather App Is So Inaccurate
Since it came as an app, every user had an account that tracked spending habits. It allowed merchants like Walmart to see where you shop, what health issues you might have based on pharmacy purchases, and even what device you’re using. Creating a customer profile that made marketing more effective. It was clear that CurrentC was developed to benefit retailers rather than shoppers. The app had such a weak security system that users’ email addresses were hacked during its beta test period. Leading shoppers to distrust and even avoid CurrentC altogether. Just one year later, the program was discontinued. Leaving retailers to decide for themselves how to approach contactless payments. Some, like Target and Best Buy, decided to begin accepting Apple Pay.
ALSO READ!!! FBI vs. Apple — The Privacy Fight
While others, like Walmart, preferred to create their payment solution. Pivoting from CurrectC to Walmart Pay. A similar contactless payment system was built-in to the company’s app. Shoppers would create an account and present a scannable barcode at checkout. The problem was that Walmart Pay had many of the same issues as CurrentC. Like data collection, questionable security, and the need for a third-party app. But Walmart needed to take this approach since Apple Pay wouldn’t provide the retailer with customer data, and it wouldn’t eliminate card processing fees. Despite being more convenient and secure for shoppers.