You know mobile payments has gone mainstream when your mother starts talking about it – and it’s the topic of conversation on every single news program nearly nonstop.
CNBC’s coverage of it yesterday is just the latest example of the media talk track on Apple Pay. It started with Jim Cramer, touting the merits of Walgreen in the face of Rite Aid’s and CVS’ Apple Pay snub. Cramer believes Walgreen’s is on the road to success simply because Walgreen has decided to give consumers the option to use Apple Pay should they so choose. Cramer also noted that CurrentC will capture a consumers’ information — one of the big selling points to its merchant members — while Apple Pay doesn’t. He went on to say that Apple Pay is also more secure option since it stores data on the consumers’ iPhone and not with Apple or the store in which the consumer is making a purchase.
A few hours later, MPD CEO Karen Webster was asked to give her perspective on the Apple Pay/CurrentC situation. She described it as “a mess” which puts the CurrentC retailers in a tough spot. Webster said, ” they’re really bound contractually not to offer something that consumers obviously want to try, I think is an unfortunate consequence for the retailer.”
When asked what can be learned from this, Webster said there was a really big learning, “It can’t take three years for a product to get to market in an environment.”