CurrentC is expected to be available in mid 2015, and it will combine mobile payments and loyalty benefits. Merchant Content Exchange (MCX), a company owned by a consortium of U.S. retailers including CVS, Best Buy, Lowe's, Sears, Target, and Walmart, backs the CurrentC platform.
Small-scale trials are currently underway in undisclosed U.S. markets, according to IDG News Service, but some critics express doubts about CurrentC. "MCX seems completely unaware of how people actually shop at its partner stores," Forbes says. CurrentC doesn't support credit cards, to help merchants avoid those fees. Instead, CurrentC uses debit cards, which don't provide the same level of fraud protection as credit cards. The system will also initially use QR codes instead of NFC or another wireless technology.