Oct 29 AT 3:35 PM Dustin Earley 11 Comments

Android and iOS users are joining forces in the war against CurrentC

android-apple Image via: laihiu with Creative Commons

Android users want to pay for things using NFC with Google Wallet, and iOS users want to pay for things using NFC with Apple Pay. And one thing is standing in their way: CurrentC. But the most passionate users of both platforms aren’t going to let their mobile payment system of choice go down without a fight.

CurrentC is essentially a mobile payment system centered around using QR codes and the CurrentC app on your smartphone instead of NFC, backed by a large number of huge, important retailers. After Apple Pay’s introduction, news spread like wildfire that any retailer who supported CurrentC would not allow for NFC payments to be made at its establishment, as part of the agreement to use CurrentC. Whether or not CurrentC will be successful remains to be seen, but offers like 10 percent off your entire purchase for using CurrentC put the system in a good position to make a heavy dent in the industry.

Android and iOS users are miffed about the whole situation mainly because, as stated above, in order for a merchant to support CurrentC they have to kill support for Apple Pay or Google Wallet. And that’s just the beginning. Try a simple Google search for “CurrentC” and see what kind of results pop up. Right now, the big news is that CurrentC has been hacked. You’ll also find other articles about questionable data acquisition and terrible usability. So Android and iOS users are joining forces to fight against CurrentC in any way they can.

Using Reddit as a major meeting ground, supporters of NFC-based mobile payments are collecting boycott lists of companies that support CurrentC, making websites with easy to access information on the payment system, bombarding app store listings with terrible reviews of the CurrentC app and more. The CurrentC app currently sits in the iOS App Store and Google Play with one star, and coverage on the efforts are starting to pick up.

Of course the best way to show who you support is to vote with your wallet. Unfortunately for NFC supports, they may just be the vocal minority in this regard. CurrentC has some impressive backers including Best Buy, Walmart and Target — all retailers who will undoubtedly see an incredible volume of customers this holiday season no matter what mobile payment system they back. But the war has only just begun. And when Apple and Google combine, they can make for one serious adversary.

We’ll be keeping a close eye on CurrentC, and the future of NFC payments, as they will both surely be making plenty of headlines for the next couple of months to come.

Dustin Earley: Tech enthusiast; avid gamer; all around jolly guy.

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  • sandwich

    Extra points for using lmgtfy. :D

  • wgpeter

    This just sucks. Everything worked great last week and now no where that I shop works. No good. Hopefully the two giants can work together to iron this out.

  • Ryan M

    If CurrentC is going to use anticompetitive tactics by removing support for other NFC payment systems from retail stores, Apple and Google should return fire by removing the CurrentC app from their app stores. Let’s see how successful it is with only Windows Phone support.

    • kenneth warnershook

      I agree with that 100% they do have the right to do that

    • thel0nerang3r

      I guess they could go with Apples’ policy of “duplicates built in functionality” or something like that.

  • http://droidsamurai.blogspot.com DroidSamurai

    Fighting bad is a really bad tactics for Google — just be honest to ourselves, in just 1 month or so, Apple Pay has gotten more support than Google Wallet had gathered in years. What Google should do is to persuade CurrentC supporters to allow Google Wallet ONLY. Look, those companies don’t scare Google (otherwise, some of them would have blocked Google Wallet LONG TIMES AGO) — they fear Apple, which has a notorious record of screwing everyone else to benefit itself.

  • andrew goodwin

    I don’t understand why people would join in this battle for google wallet and apple pay. Maybe I am missing something, but I think that google wallet and apple pay are using cards to work, and CurrentC is using checks correct? This means it saves companies like BestBuy a lot of money on processing, money it seems they are willing to let pass back into our pockets as consumers. To us as a user, the cost of the item is cheaper to use CurrentC correct? I guess the fear is that we use that service until it is main stream and then they stop giving the discounts to CurrentC users. but either way we get the discount for a while to use CurrentC, why not use it? NFC tech is not going to die, eventually CurrentC will be using it once the battle is over. Look at alternating current and direct current, how many of you knew they were direct competitors at one point. We are all using both tech’s now. I guess my question is, why should I fight this for Apple & Google. What do I get out of it, besides a cool feature for my phone? Again, I am not trying to be a smart #$%, I am honestly asking, why fight for the feature, what are the main points (besides data security, which can be fixed) that I should support one or the other?

    • Tangent

      There are a few problems with CurrentC: First, the fact that they’re simply removing an option. If they want to offer their alternative and make it worth our while, that’s great, best of luck to them. Disabling other alternatives to try to force you into theirs though? That’s a BS move that should not be supported. Second, it’s asking for creepy permissions like collecting and storing health and medical data. And third, their terms of service leave the users screwed in cases of fraud unlike credit card based transactions like Google Wallet and Apple Pay.

  • Tangent

    “in order for a merchant to support CurrentC they have to kill support for Apple Pay or Google Wallet”

    Do they actually *have* to, or are they just doing it to pressure consumers? I doubt it’s a technical limitation, but I wouldn’t at all be surprised if it was a terms of service condition for retailers considering how they already want to screw consumers with fraud liability…

  • MrNobody

    Maybe I missed it, but were in the article does it discuss Apple and Google combining?

  • unicronic

    Correct me I’m missing something but isn’t CurrentC USA/North America only.

    So much more business to had with the billions of people elsewhere whilst this is ongoing.