Ron Shevlin wrote for Snarketing 2.0 on CurrentC.
Furthermore, let’s review again the impetus behind the MCX consortium. If merchants simply needed a place to push out more coupons and drive more business, they could have partnered with Google or Apple. But they didn’t. They set up their own payment processing capabilities, because the real impetus here is avoiding interchange fees.
Raise your hand if you want to give up on the rewards you’ve been earning on your Amex, Visa, or MasterCard credit or debit cards. I don’t see any hands in the air.
CurrentC helps retailers cut out the commission paid to credit card companies. As I have said before, consumers are more likely to prefer sticking to using credit cards. On top of the rewards you earn through your cards, there’s consumer safety through programs such as travel insurance, extended product warranties. Don’t like the product you bought with your card? Return it through the credit card’s return policy. Some credit cards run instalment policies that allows you to manage cash flow.
For CurrentC to actually be able to compete, it would have to offer consumers such attractive benefits. Otherwise, it is hard to see it succeeding.
At last year’s BAI Retail Delivery conference, I hosted a meeting of CMOs from large FIs, which featured Lee Scott, the former CEO of Walmart (who is a member of MCX). I asked Mr. Scott why, in the face of so many failed consortia before it, would MCX succeed?
He said: “I don’t know that it will, and I don’t care. As long as Visa suffers.”