Faced with more retailer defections, CurrentC shelves its plans and lays off staff

currentc launch shelved screenshot 2014 10 25 14 08 20 0
First it was Best Buy. Then Walmart. Then Target. All three company’s were Merchant Customer Exchange’s biggest proponents of CurrentC, but all three have decided to move ahead with either currently available mobile payment systems or ones of their own.

On Monday, MCX finally saw the writing on the wall and all but called it quits. CurrentC’s national rollout has been postponed for at least the near term, while MCX itself works on building relationships with the banks themselves. It will also lay off 30 employees as a result of the shift.

“As part of this transition, MCX will postpone a nationwide rollout of its CurrentC application,” MCX Brian Mooney said in a statement. “As MCX has said many times, the mobile payments space is just beginning to take shape — it is early in a long game.”

While Mooney’s comments are indeed correct, CurrentC’s fate does not come unexpectedly. The system relied on using a QR code to process payments, a way to do an end-around on the credit card processors. The concept was maligned from the start, and contrasted against the much simpler tap-to-pay options of Apple Pay, Google Wallet, and Samsung Pay.

It also has faced considerable delays. After its announcement with much fanfare back in October 2014, MCX faced trouble in getting the system off the ground, and missed its original 2015 rollout. There were rumors last August that the service would finally be live this year, but since then we haven’t heard much from CurrentC, other than watching its backers either opt to accept NFC-based contactless payments or debut systems of their own.

Worse yet, Paydiant — the system MCX was to use to power the CurrentC application — was bought out by PayPal last year. That left even more questions as to whether CurrentC would ever be viable.

MCX is not providing much more detail on the future of CurrentC, only stressing the “long game” that Mooney speaks of. But with so many questions on where both the service and company go from here, the long game might be very, very short for MCX.

Emerging Tech

CES 2019 recap: All the trends, products, and gadgets you missed

CES 2019 didn’t just give us a taste of the future, it offered a five-course meal. From 8K and Micro LED televisions to smart toilets, the show delivered with all the amazing gadgetry you could ask for. Here’s a look at all the big…

What is fixed wireless 5G? Here’s everything you need to know

Here's fixed wireless 5G explained! Learn what you need to know about this effective new wireless technology, when it's available, how much it costs, and more. If you're thinking about 5G, this guide can help!

We tried all the latest and greatest smartphones to find the best of 2019

Smartphones are perhaps the most important and personal piece of tech on the planet. That’s why it’s important to pick the best phone for your individual needs. Here are the best smartphones you can buy.

Looking to upgrade? These are the best iPhone deals for January 2019

Apple devices can get expensive, but if you just can't live without iOS, don't despair: We've curated an up-to-date list of all of the absolute best iPhone deals available for January 2019.
Emerging Tech

Drones: New rules could soon allow flights over people and at night

With commercial operators in mind, the U.S. government is looking to loosen restrictions on drone flights with a set of proposals that would allow the machines greater freedom to fly over populated areas and also at night.

Some of Volkswagen’s electric models will wear a ‘Made in the USA’ label

Confirming earlier rumors, Volkswagen has announced it will build electric cars in its Chattanooga, Tennessee, factory. The facility currently produces the Passat and the Atlas. Production will start in 2023, Digital Trends can reveal.
Home Theater

Not chill: Netflix is hiking prices across all its tiers

Netflix has to get the billions of dollars it's spending on new content from somewhere. The streaming giant announced price hikes across the board, raising its monthly rates between $1 and $2 per tier in the next few months.
Movies & TV

NBCUniversal will launch its own streaming service in 2020

NBCU is prepping a streaming service filled with its original content for a debut sometime next year, meaning that Michael, Dwight, and the rest of the Scranton crew might be moving to a new home.

Benchmark results show Snapdragon 855 destroys previous-generation chip

Almost exactly a year after the launch of the Snapdragon 845, Qualcomm took the wraps off of its next-generation mobile platform, the new Snapdragon 855. The new chip puts an emphasis on A.I. performance.

Apple’s iPhone battery offer was reportedly way more popular than expected

As many as 11 million iPhone owners reportedly made use of Apple's cheaper battery replacement offer that launched in 2018 in response to the iPhone throttling debacle — some 10 times more than the company had apparently expected.
Home Theater

Cord-cutting has grown by 48 percent in 8 years, according to Nielsen

People are continuing to ditch cable but not all cord-cutters are the same. In fact, there are two distinct groups within the cord-cutting universe, with a very small, yet growing third group that's worth paying attention to.

Huawei in for a rough year as feds investigate alleged trade secrets theft

Huawei is also facing issues in the U.S., but it doesn't seem like that will end any time soon. According to a new report, the company is facing a federal investigation in the U.S. for allegedly stealing trade secrets.
Emerging Tech

Glowing space billboards could show ads in the night sky

Look up at the night sky in 2020 and you might see an ad for McDonald's floating among the stars. A Russian startup is working on a project that uses a constellation of small satellites in low-Earth orbit to create glowing ads.

OpenTable points can now be used to whittle down cost of a hotel stay

Have some OpenTable Dining Points built up? Now those points can also be used to make your own hotel discounts. OpenTable is teaming up with Kayak to use points as discounts on participating hotels.