Shortly after Apple Pay’s official launch in October, retailers like CVS and Rite Aid began disabling the NFC terminals in their stores in order to block Apple’s payment service. It was then revealed that both companies are part of the Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX), which is working on its own payment platform known as CurrentC. Now folks are wondering when MCX members might be able to accept Apple Pay and other NFC-based payment methods again, and thankfully it appears that that time may not be far off.
MCX CEO Dekkers Davidson revealed in an interview with Re/code that MCX members have an exclusivity rule that prevents them from offering competing payment methods, but that that rule is to give CurrentC “breathing room” to develop. Davidson went on to explain that the exclusivity rule will expire in “months, not years.” CurrentC is currently is a private beta and is expected to launch to the public in early 2015.
The fact that many MCX retailers are blocking Apple Pay is a bummer for consumers, who can’t use payment methods like Apple Pay and Google Wallet at MCX stores, and it’s also bad for the retailers themselves because they’re likely losing sales to their Apple Pay-accepting competitors. Hopefully MCX members can indeed begin accepting Apple Pay, Google Wallet, etc. soon, because consumer choice is good, ya’ll.