The company behind Apple Pay rival CurrentC has been hacked in a data breach involving the theft of CurrentC user email addresses, according to a TechCrunch article by Sarah Perez. The conglomerate of retailers, MCX (Merchant Customer Exchange), asserts that the CurrentC mobile app was no affected by the breach.
While the theft of email addresses is not particularly serious – no significant personal or financial information was lost – it is an awkward situation for MCX. The company has been developing its CurrentC platform for years with the aim of undermining credit card companies and their apparently exorbitant retailer fees, and now finds itself competing against the Apple Pay digital wallet platform, which is both more convenient in its use of NFC technology and more secure in its employment of biometric security via its Touch ID fingerprint scanner embedded in the latest iPhones. From the consumer’s perspective, this security breach may underline that gap in security between the two platforms.
CurrentC does have the advantage of not requiring retailers to have NFC technology installed at their POS, but that will soon change as industry regulations compel retailers to make the move next year; it’s in the interest of consumer security. Meanwhile, Apple has been learning that consumers demand privacy and security, and will likely continue to emphasize the advanced security offered by its Touch ID system as it pushes Apple Pay deeper into the mainstream.