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Columbus discovers new mobile payment service


Consumers in Columbus, Ohio, are being given a new option for mobile payment.

CurrentC, the mobile payment application from retailer-backed consortium Merchant Commerce Exchange, is now being piloted at stores in Columbus. Major retailers currently participating in MCX include Walmart, Sam’s Club, Sears, Target, CVS and Kmart.

MCX briefly announced the Columbus beta test on the CurrentC webpage, with few details. Reuters reports that 12 major retailers are testing the service at 200 store locations, and the test may be expanded in early 2016.

Since its launch in fall 2014, CurrentC has traveled a bit of a rocky road. Initially participating retailers said they would not accept Apple Pay, but most have since backed away from that pledge. It also was initially scheduled for full rollout this year, but has not moved past several pilot programs.

But in a recent positive development, J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. named MCX as the premier partner for its Chase Pay tokenized mobile payment service. Chase Pay will be accepted wherever CurrentC is accepted, either directly or through the CurrentC app. Whether CurrentC will hinder Chase Pay usage, or Chase Pay will boost the viability of CurrentC, remains to be seen.

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