JP Morgan Chase will launch its own smartphone payment platform in mid-2016, it said Monday, going head-to-head with rival services from Apple, Google and Samsung.
Chase Pay will be based on CurrentC, a retailer-led mobile payment system that has largely been written off by Silicon Valley techies for its reliance on barcodes rather than the more sophisticated NFC (near-field communications) technology adopted by its competitors.
It works through an app that displays a barcode on the customer’s smartphone screen. The retailer scans the barcode to complete the payment. There’s also a version that works online.
While its reliance on barcodes might not be as cool as the tap-and-go NFC system, it means CurrentC, and therefore Chase Pay, is compatible with a much larger number of smartphones. Users with phones incompatible with other payment systems could find their phones work with the Chase platform.