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Apple

NFC Payments: Apple Pay vs. CurrentC

Paying with Near-Field-Communication, or NFC, chips is nothing new. Google Android phones have had NFC payment capabilities for the past few years. Apple had not introduced the capabilities at its “It’s been way too long” event, last Month.. Last Monday, October 20th, it went live with the release of iOS 8.1. Some retailers, like Walgreens and Whole Foods began taking payments via Pay.

The way that NFC payments work is by taking the payment information, sending it to the payment processors, and receiving a tokenized version of the credit card information. This means that the retailer should not know your exact payment information.

One of the byproducts of enabling Pay is that some other retailers were also able to inadvertently enabled Pay payments on their terminals. A couple of these retailers were CVS, RiteAid, and Best Buy. Once they realized that his was occurring, these two retailers completely disabled their NFC payments. The stated reason that they disabled NFC payments is because they are using an alternative NFC payment method called CurrentC. Here is what it takes to use CurrentC.

  1. Scan QR Code from Payment Pad
  2. Have cashier scan QR Code that was generated
  3. Enter in your PIN

These seem simple. Here are the steps for using Apple Pay

  1. Tap iPhone on NFC
  2. Authorize Payment with Touch ID sensor

The number of steps are very similar. There is one less in the Pay steps. Now, let us look at what it takes to add a payment method to each. We will start with Pay.

  1. Scan Card with Camera
  2. Enter in missing information
  3. Enter in CVV code

Three steps, again, not bad at all. Now let us looked at what it takes for CurrentC.

  1. Click Add Payment button
  2. Select Checking Account
  3. Enter in your Checking Account Routing Number
  4. Enter in your Checking Account Number
  5. Enter in your Driver’s License
  6. Enter in Social Security Number
  7. Enter in other Personal Information

Wait, What? First off, Why should I be required to enter in my Checking Account information, Driver’s License, Social Security Number? To me, this is completely unacceptable. Even though none of the information is kept on the phone, nobody should be required to enter in this information. This is not secure. While the payment information is being tokenized, money is being directly debited from a user’s account.

The reason that CurrentC was created was to not have to pay any fees to MasterCard and Visa. With the sheer number of transactions that some of these companies perform within year, it is understandable that they would want to reduce these transaction fees. Now, there are a couple of issues with this approach. First, there is a clause in the MCX CurrentC agreement that makes the use of CurrentC completely exclusive. This means that companies who agree to use CurrentC cannot use Pay. The second is that this exclusivity is will exclude a significant portion of the population whom want to protect their privacy.

There are some individuals who are laughing at Apple users whom may be switching pharmacies or will not be frequent the retailers who currently support CurrentC. I take issue with this because the United States is run by large corporations. The best way voice your opinion is to stop shopping at these retailers. Even though whomever we vote for at the polls may not ultimately make a difference, if enough people opt to vote with our wallets, it may cause the companies to reconsider their exclusive use of CurrentC.

Addendum

The entire list of current retailers who use CurrentC is as follows:

  • 76 Gas
  • 7-11
  • Acme Fresh Market
  • Alon
  • Bahama Breeze
  • Banana Republic
  • Baskin Robbins
  • Bed Bath & Beyond
  • Best Buy
  • BuyBuyBaby
  • The Capital Grill
  • Chilis
  • Christmas Tree Shops
  • Circle K Gas
  • Conoco
  • CVS Pharmacy
  • Dick’s Sporting Goods
  • Dillards
  • Dunkin’ Donuts
  • Eddie V’s Prime Seafood
  • ExxonMobil
  • Face Values
  • The Gap
  • Get Go
  • Giant Eagle
  • HMS Host
  • Hobby Lobby
  • HyVee
  • KMart
  • Kohls
  • Kum & Go
  • Longhorn Steakhouse
  • Lowe’s
  • Maggiano’s Little Italy
  • Michael’s
  • My Good’s Market
  • Old Navy
  • Olive Garden
  • Phillips 66
  • Price Rite
  • Publix
  • QuikTrip
  • RaceTrac
  • RiteAid Pharmacy
  • Sam’s Club
  • Sears
  • Seasons 52 Fresh Grill
  • Sheets
  • Shell
  • Shop Rite
  • Southwest Airlines
  • Sunco
  • Target
  • Walmart
  • Wawa
  • Wendy’s
  • Yard House
Categories
Daily Run Down

Daily Run Down 06/27/2013: Morning Edition

Here is this morning’s Daily Run Down.

Social Issues/Human Interest

General News

International

Politics

Obits

Olympics

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Historical

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Gadgets

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Chicagoland

Total Number of stories: 62

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Daily Run Down

Daily Run Down 06/12/2013: Evening Edition

Here is this evening’s Daily Run Down.

Social Issues/Human Interest

General News

International

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Obits

Health

Science/Space

Financial

Historical

Gaming

Gadgets

Law

Technology

Internet

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Chicagoland

Total Number of stories: 95

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Daily Run Down 05/28/2013: Evening Edition

Here is this evening’s Daily Run Down.

Big News

General News

International

Politics

Obits

Health

Science/Space

Financial

Historical

Gaming

Gadgets

Law

Technology

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Mobile

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Personal

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?

Funny

Chicagoland

Total Number of stories: 59

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Daily Run Down

Daily Run Down 03/21/2013: Morning Edition

Here is this morning’s Daily Run Down.

General News

International

Politics

Science/Space

Financial

Historical

Tips and Tricks

Gaming

Gadgets

Law

Patents

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Internet

Social

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London/Britain/UK

Personal

Odd

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?

Funny

Chicagoland

Total Number of stories: 86

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