Chase's Dumb New Mobile Payments System is Destined to Fail

Illustration for article titled Chase's Dumb New Mobile Payments System is Destined to Fail

Mobile payments are all the rage right now! There’s the contactless magic of Apple and Android Pay, Samsung’s awesomely cool magnetic thing, and Chase’s system that lets you use a Chase card in a Chase-approved store, by simple scanning a QR code. Wait, what?

Chase Pay is another digital wallet that Chase is hoping you will use to pay for things. In (participating) stores, you’ll be able to open up the Chase app, chose a Chase banking card, which then generates a QR code, which the poor cashier will then spend three minutes trying to scan. This is apparently better than, say, Samsung Pay, which lets you pay with most credit cards at basically every shop in the United States.


But wait: Chase is eager to point out that there are MORE stores you can use Chase Pay in: it’s partnered with MCX, a Walmart-led consortium of merchants and banks, which is developing its own (equally dumb) payment app, CurrentC. If CurrentC ever launches, you’ll be able to open up the CurrentC app (not the Chase Pay app, mind you), choose Chase, and then do the awkward fumbling with QR codes.

In case you’re wondering why Chase is bothering to do this at all, the answer is simple: mobile payments are sexy and new, and banks are realizing that if they get in there early, they might be able to wrest some power away from Visa and Mastercard in the world of paying for stuff. Unfortunately, that power struggle will almost certainly make everything less convenient and more difficult for consumers.

When can you start using this technology, I hear no-one asking? That’s the best part: Chase isn’t launching until the ‘middle of 2016’, which gives someone at Chase eight months to kill this gigantic waste of time and money.



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I know it is a crazy concept but has anyone considered just using the little plastic cards that all of these things are trying to emulate? Sure, I always have my phone on me but if I have my phone on me I almost certainly have my wallet with me and pulling out the one doesn’t seem like more of a hassle than pulling out the other.