CurrentC, the mobile payment rival backed by the MCX retailer consortium, has been hacked. In an email notice sent to users in their pilot program or those that signed up, the company says “within the last 36 hours, we learned that unauthorized third parties obtained the email addresses of some of you.”
A PR rep emailed the following statement to Business Insider:
Within the last 36 hours, we learned that unauthorized third parties obtained the e-mail addresses of some of our CurrentC pilot program participants and individuals who had expressed interest in the app. Many of these email addresses are dummy accounts used for testing purposes only. The CurrentC app itself was not affected.
We have notified our merchant partners about this incident and directly communicated with each of the individuals whose email addresses were involved. We take the security of our users’ information extremely seriously. MCX is continuing to investigate this situation and will provide updates as necessary.
Although the CurrentC app was not compromised, the fact the company was susceptible to a hack does not bode well for consumers looking to trust them with info such as their bank account details, to make QR-code payments via their app.
Yesterday the New York Times revealed MCX partners were bound by contracts to disallow rival mobile payments or be fined, hence why CVS and Rite Aid disabled NFC terminals to block Apple Pay and Google Wallet.
MCX CEO Dekkers Davidson responded today in a company blog post noting partners are free to leave the group at any time and there are no fines for doing so:
Does MCX Require its Merchants to Only Offer CurrentCTM?
MCX merchants make their own decisions about what solutions they want to bring to their customers; the choice is theirs. When merchants choose to work with MCX, they choose to do so exclusively and we’re proud of the long list of merchants who have partnered with us. Importantly, if a merchant decides to stop working with MCX, there are no fines.
Back when the MCX merchants first got together, it was in response to a market that lacked a viable mobile wallet that would benefit both consumers and retailers. Today, we believe that need still exists, and our working group is getting ready to reveal a solution that is different from other mobile payment options in many important ways.
CurrentC needs to launch quickly because right now, Apple Pay already has over 1 million registered credit cards and continues to build up momentum. As more retailers adopt NFC terminals to support Apple Pay, it also paves the way for Google Wallet users as well.