When Tim Cook proudly announced Apple Pay recently and the impressive number of stores it had got onboard, I was shocked. Had Apple finally pulled off a feat many others have struggled to implement on such a large scale? Early reports indicated a resounding yes.
Now, it seems some other major retailers are planning on launching their own offering to rival Apple Pay and shuttering support for it. The retailers include; Walmart, Kmart, 7-Eleven and Best Buy. Expected to launch next year, a payment service and accompanying app called CurrentC which sounds like a bottled juice drink than it does a payment service.
Does this single the end of Apple Pay? Most likely not. We have yet to see if the FTC steps in here, as this is essentially a deliberate move to block out competition in the payments space. But as the FTC have proven, they are pretty useless.
So while Apple pay still has a future, it seems CurrentC has started some kind of payments revolution that is starting to pick up some traction. The benefits of CurrentC include cutting out the middle-man whereas Apple have partnered with banks (which could work to their advantage for lobbying for support).
There is definitely no shortage of competition. With Square, Paypal, Amazon, Google, and other companies vying to be the mobile payment platform of choice, even Facebook are planning on getting into the action as well. But no doubt Apple have the power to form powerful partnerships, they do have a lot of cash in the bank to do some damage to competitors.
Time will tell. But it is good to finally see some competition in the NFC payments space which has been slow and dormant for some time now, at least until Apple came in and finally supported NFC.