The above might sound like a strange title for a blog post but it really does capture the essence of why paying for goods, food, and gasoline with a phone might appeal to so many people. This is why it appeals to me and why I have become such a fan of the CurrentC app that is in beta right now in my neck of the woods. I started using it a couple months ago if you recall. It is often easier and faster for me to pay and get out of store with my purchases than it is when I am using a good old fashioned debit card.
My first title concept was “CurrentC for the Lazy and the Paranoid.” That sounded too negative, even if it is true. CurrentC does allow me to get out of stores faster (once you get the hang of it) and it feels much more secure in this day and age of card skimmers. Just this morning I ran across an article in my Facebook newsfeed about data skimmers being found in 7 counties in my state…usually at gas pumps. Skimmers are devices that read the data on the magnetic strip of your debit or credit card. They get attached to ATMs and gas pumps and when you slide your card, you transmit the data to the skimmer as well as to the merchant. The criminal behind the device then makes a clone of your card and sells it.
So why do I like paying for gas with CurrentC instead? Well, there are a couple reasons and security is one of them. I am not swiping a card I am sending digital information and the Paycode (aka the pay token) used within the app is for one-time use per transaction, so a new one is created every time you pay with CurrentC. The Paycode is meaningless outside of that single transaction, and stores no identifiable account information. Another big plus is that I can send this information and handle the payment part of the transaction while sitting comfortable in my car. I just used the app this past weekend at a Shell station. I pulled up, opened my app, input my pin, selected the gas station I was at, selected the pump number, and the transaction went through in seconds. All I had to do then was get out and pump the gas. When I finished I could see my receipt on my phone, at the pump if I chose to print it, and I also got an email with this info. This makes tax stuff a lot easier!
I also used the app for a little shopping at Kmart recently too. I needed a couple gift cards and the transaction there was easy peasy as well. It works a bit differently at different places. At Shell I just transmitted information, at Kmart and Giant Eagle I scanned a QR code on a payment screen, at Target and at CVS they scanned a QR code on my phone. Sometimes I used gift cards that I added to the app to pay for my purchases and sometimes I used my checking account. The nerd in me is excited to jump on the mobile pay bandwagon, the paranoid part me likes passing up on potential card skimmers, and lazy part of me likes paying for gas without getting out of the car. I think CurrentC has something to appeal to all types.
If you are not in the beta area in Columbus Ohio be sure to check it out when it hits your area!
I was compensated for my time in testing this beta app in my locale. All thoughts and opinions are my own.