October 28, 2015 / 7:29 PM / in 2 years

Retailer-backed mobile wallet CurrentC expands U.S. customer test

LAS VEGAS (Reuters) - A retailer-backed mobile wallet that rivals Apple Inc’s Apple Pay has expanded its customer test to 200 stores at 12 large retailers in Ohio, its chief executive officer said on Wednesday.

CurrentC has been developed by a consortium of retailers under the Merchant Customer Exchange, which includes Wal-Mart Stores Inc, Target Corp and Best Buy Co Inc

In August, MCX said its wallet was being tested in a handful of stores in Columbus, Ohio.

MCX may expand the test gradually to other states in the first quarter of next year, CEO Brian Mooney told Reuters in an interview at the Money 20/20 payments conference in Las Vegas.

“Customers who have used the product are using it more than once a week,” he said.

CurrentC lets shoppers pay for items with their phones and pulls up a code that is scanned to initiate transactions. It has been in development for nearly three years and is the latest entrant in a segment increasingly dominated by Apple Inc, Google’s Android Pay and Samsung Electronic Co Samsung Pay.

MCX hopes to find broader adoption among merchants by linking its app with checking accounts, gift cards and their own private-label cards in order to eliminate the 1 percent to 3 percent fee that retailers pay every time they process a credit card transaction via the existing networks.

On Monday, it signed a deal with Chase to accept payments through the bank’s technology.

“Any merchant who accepts CurrentC will accept Chase Pay,” Mooney said.

MCX’s 40 merchant partners operate almost 110,000 retail locations and process about $1 trillion in purchases every year.

Reporting by Nandita Bose and David Henry in Las Vegas; Editing by Alan Crosby

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