Walmart proves clueless in its defense of blocking Apple Pay and Google Wallet

Walmart proves clueless in its defense of blocking Apple Pay and Google Wallet
Recently, the news came out that Walmart and other companies that are part of the Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX) consortium would be blocking mobile payments from Apple Pay, Google Wallet, and others. The reason for doing so was obviously that MCX has its own mobile payment system, CurrentC, coming next year; but, Walmart's defense of its decision shows just how clueless the company really is.

Here's what Walmart told Business Insider on the matter:


Sounds fairly reasonable at first pass. Obviously consumers want a payment option that is "widely accepted" and "secure". But, here are the troubles with the statement: 

  1. There are only 54 merchants who are part of MCX, and approximately 110,000 locations that will accept CurrentC. On the other hand, Apple Pay is currently available at 220,000 locations, and Google Wallet is accepted anywhere that takes MasterCard PayPass, a number somewhere close to 500,000 retailers in the US with plenty more coming as the changeover to EMV happens by October of 2015. 
  2. Given that breakdown, it's hard to see how Walmart makes the leap to say that MCX merchants "serve a majority of Americans", unless what that means is that the majority of MCX customers are American (grammatically, this reading is plausible.) 
  3. NFC payments in general are seen as very secure, and Apple Pay is especially so because of the TouchID fingerprint scanner.

All in all, it seems hard to imagine that MCX and CurrentC will last all that long, if it ever even makes it to market. MCX isn't trying to take on just Apple or Google really; it is also trying to take on MasterCard and Visa, who are spearheading the move to EMV. Given that MCX has no banks on its side, no clear release window for CurrentC, and a mobile payment method based on QR codes, it seems like a losing proposition.

Although, word has it that even Walmart has no delusions of winning this fight. Supposedly, Walmart CEO Lee Scott said that he doesn't care if CurrentC is successful "As long as Visa suffers."

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12 Comments

1. vincelongman

Posts: 5694; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Also we (all iOS, Android and WP users) need boycott CurrentC 1. Anti-competitive, like ISIS/SoftCard again 2. Less secure, no tokens, links straight to your checking account 3. No fraud protections, i.e. if they get hack tough luck for you 4. Allows stores to collect more data about you 5. Harder to use, NFC > QR Codes

6. engineer-1701d unregistered

my google wallet works at my walmart, i just hate having to remember to hit credit first

9. The-Sailor-Man

Posts: 1095; Member since: Mar 25, 2014

No Android users boycott. Only iBoys (some of them pretending to be Android users) Only they are insane. Period. P.S. My advise to you, iboys , is you to start jumping from the bridges, breaking the windows of the shops that don't lick Apple's a$$, burn yourselves on public places....and so on. (to help your Religion Apple to get some more profit) Since Apple can not compete on the tech, they try to milk money from whatever .

2. HASHTAG unregistered

After seeing the demonstration with the QR Codes scanning system, I don't know anyone who want to deal with that process. I love using Google Wallet on my S5.

3. cncrim

Posts: 1588; Member since: Aug 15, 2011

The dog need to put up the good fight before give up, just like everything else on planet.

4. diyi75

Posts: 72; Member since: Oct 30, 2013

I have Google wallet. Used it a few times, works nice. This won't make a difference, people are still going to walmart. Not enough users on either side to make a difference. It's a lost battle.

5. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

The final comment tells the true story. Visa has been punishing retailers with outrageous usage fees per transaction for years because everyone uses visa. Anything that gets around the visa fees which are worked into average transaction prices is extra profit for the retailer.

7. androiphone20

Posts: 1654; Member since: Jul 10, 2013

This won't benefit the consumer in any way I wonder why they even try. CurrentC is a clunky way to go up against Apple Pay and countless other meths it's even less secure (not to mention feels archaic) The last thing I want is to go through menus and scanning QR codes before I actually make a transaction.

8. longhairbilly

Posts: 66; Member since: Aug 23, 2010

Apple and Google should block the CurrentC app from their App stores then.

10. tokuzumi

Posts: 1900; Member since: Aug 27, 2009

Walmart and clueless are synonyms.

11. Crispin_Gatieza

Posts: 3137; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

They're only the world's largest retailer. I'd say they're clueless.

12. spasticpat

Posts: 110; Member since: Dec 18, 2012

"...deep insights into their customers' shopping and buying experiences." In other words, collecting data in regards to your spending habits.

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