Most of MCX retailers, including Walmart and many other big names in the retail business, are not taking Apple Pay payments from iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus owners interested in using the functionality because they’re working on their own mobile payments app called CurrentC, which should be an exclusive wireless payment option for them, at least initially.
However, the Apple Pay vs. CurrentC debate revealed various details, including the fact that retailers might one day support both Apple Pay and Current C — one such retailer is already looking forward to do so. Re/code says that Walmart will not be ready to take Apple Pay payments anytime soon, and might never support the feature, as the retailer is actively fighting credit cards companies.
The publication reveals that at the recent Money2020 payments conference, Walmart’s assistant treasurer Mike Cook, who’s apparently one of the “masterminds” of MCX, grilled Visa exec Jim McCarthy about credit card fees, noting the differences between card fees retailers have to pay depending on Apple Pay transactions, and revealing in the process the real reason Walmart is pushing for CurrentC payments.
In-store Apple Pay payments have a “card-present” rate — the same fee retailers pay for actual credit card swipes, as there’s a lower chance of fraud. However, for online on in-app Apple Pay payments, retailers are charged a higher “card-not-present” fee. McCarty said the difference in fees comes from a difference in payment standards though the answer was not good enough for Cook.
“This exchange is noteworthy because it epitomizes the mistrust and disdain between Walmart and the credit card networks,” Re/code said, adding that it learned from Visa and MasterCard execs that such cards won’t be compatible with CurrentC anytime soon, even though MCX wants to include credit card support in its payment solution, and concluding that Walmart will never accept Apple Pay in its stores in order to avoid these credit card fees.
A video showing the aforementioned confrontation follows below.