A worker uses Apple Pay inside a mobile kiosk sponsored by Visa and Wells Fargo set up to demonstrate the new Apple Inc. mobile payment system in San Francisco.

CurrentC, the retailer-backed mobile-payment system touted as an alternative to Apple Inc. (AAPL)’s platform, was hacked during a test of the technology, resulting in some e-mail addresses being stolen over the past 36 hours.

The attack represents a black eye for a coalition that’s working to win the trust of consumers and gain an edge over the Apple Pay system. CVS Health Corp. (CVS) and Rite Aid Corp. (RAD), part of the MCX group, stopped accepting Apple Pay last week, putting a spotlight on their support for CurrentC.

CurrentC is slated to debut early next year and won’t be delayed by the security issue, Davidson said. The system will let customers buy items with their phones by scanning QR codes.

The breach itself appears to be small, but there’s a risk that consumers weary of data hacking will be turned off before the new platform goes live, said Todd Ablowitz, president of Double Diamond Group in Centennial, Colorado.

“If you’re launching a new payment system, you have to project a sense of security and gain confidence,” Ablowitz said in an interview. “If I was in charge of MCX, I’d be worried about how it appears to the typical consumer.”

Bloomberg, October 29, 2014
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