You might think that the future of phone-based shopping belongs to tap-to-pay services like Apple Pay and Android Pay. However, Chase begs to differ. The banking giant has unveiled Chase Pay, a mobile app that uses your credit, debit or prepaid card to make purchases through CurrentC. And yes, that means what you think it does... both good and bad. It'll let you take advantage of loyalty programs and even pay by scanning some receipts, but you'll also have to make many payments by scanning QR codes. As it stands, you'll have to be patient -- Chase Pay won't be available until mid-2016.
Whether or not it succeeds is very much up in the air. Critics of CurrentC argue that it's designed more for the sake of retailers than actual customers. It lets shops not only dodge transaction fees and use existing scanners, but collect more information about your shopping habits -- convenience is more of a side benefit. Early security issues haven't helped the technology's image, either. To boot, the group behind CurrentC (Merchant Customer Exchange, or MCX) has had trouble maintaining loyalty. Best Buy, Rite Aid and other core members have promised support for slicker rivals like Apple Pay and Android Pay, so you might have little incentive to go Chase's route if you have a modern, NFC-equipped phone.