As the Merchant Customer Exchange's CurrentC mobile wallet goes to trial in Columbus, Ohio—along with a limited test in Target stores nationally—the industry gets it first peek at the venture's priorities.

MCX's purpose was to give merchants control of payments and customer data, with an eye on guiding consumers to lower-cost payment options such as ACH transfers. The CurrentC app, which is available to download from iTunes and Google Play, hints at the range of payment options it is willing to support.

The app in its current form accepts gift cards, direct checking account access, a single credit card (Target's RED credit card) and a single debit card (also from Target), according to Richard Crone, president of Crone Consulting, who has been trying the app. (PaymentsSource was unable to get past the app's login screen, but CurrentC's support page also singles out Target's credit card as a payment option).

"It's only the beginning," Crone said. "If you can get over the hurdles of registering the app, it should make life easier for the consumer and to be appealing. Overall, though, to really accelerate the adoption, they have to accept all payment types."

The app currently supports gift cards from a handful of MCX members, including Capital Grill, CVS, Target, Wendy's and the Olive Garden, Crone said. The app's coupons include an offer of $4 off of Huggies (selling now at Target for $24.99), and $1 off two of Hershey's spread (selling for $8).

Crone said he was favorably impressed with how the app handles gift cards and coupons. The offers are displayed and selecting one automatically deducts the savings at checkout. 

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