Zombie services: Apple Pay surprisingly not dead


It must be Thursday because it’s time once again to report on another Apple killer that has not, in fact, killed the Apple thing it was designed to kill.

OK, there isn’t one every Thursday but certainly a lot of Thursdays.

”MCX postpones rollout of Apple Pay rival CurrentC, lays off 30, will focus on bank deals.”

This is normally where the Macalope feigns surprise and then links to a bunch of chuckle factories who said CurrentC would reign supreme and then pretends there’s no way they could have been wrong, blah-blah-blah, sarcasm. But you can’t go to that well every time. First of all, it’s guarded by a cerberus. Second, you only get one free use every quarter. And you have to show a recent public utility statement to prove you live in the Sarcastic Well zone.

The cerberus is actually just there to check that you meet the residency requirement.

The joke is that it’s a literal well, that’s what the joke is. The Macalope can’t stress that enough. There’s a bucket and a winch and everything. Real well.

The fact that people insisted back in 2014 that CurrentC would beat Apple Pay is a completely different joke. Still somewhat funny, though, as it was painfully obvious that QR codes were not going to provide a delightful user experience. We’re mostly just lucky it never got off the ground enough for it to get hacked and have customers' bank account information compromised.

Writing for IT World in 2014, Matthew Mombrea predicted that CurrentC would “beat out Apple Pay in the end".

What it boils down to is the fact that one technology is designed for the users (Apple) and the other is designed for the merchants (CurrentC). Normally I’d say that the product with the most user appeal will win but the power and size behind the CurrentC group is too big to ignore.

Too Big To Ignore, the sequel to Too Big To Fail. Opening the same weekend was a comedy about how little Apple was powerless against the might of the likes of CVS. Please make up your own hilarious title.

If you can’t use Apple Pay almost everywhere, it’s doomed.

This was when you basically couldn’t use CurrentC anywhere. Which, a year and a half later, appears will be the case for the rest of time.

About the same time as Mombrea wrote his love note to CurrentC, Will Hernandez at Mobile Payments Today thought:

…CurrentC has a better chance than Apple Pay to change consumer behavior because it will dangle incentives and rewards as the carrot to use the mobile wallet.

Or, well, it might have if it ever got off the ground.

Pundits downplay the lack of a rewards system tied to Apple Pay, but every feature helps when you're trying to change behavior.

Yeah, and a positive user experience and superior security are features.

CurrentC had very few advantages going into this war. That was pretty obvious back in October of 2014. Ultimately, it didn’t even show up for the battle that Apple Pay was already waging. Predictions are often very hard, but this one was kind of easy.

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