CVS and Rite Aid made headlines for actively blocking Apple Pay transactions. Many retailers don’t have the necessary point-of-sale systems in place to process a wireless mobile payment using Apple Pay, and that is understandable. Hopefully they’ll upgrade eventually. CVS and Rite Aid, however, do have the ability to accept Apple Pay transactions, but instead disabled the NFC feature of its point-of-sale systems to intentionally reject Apple’s payment system.
Why? It’s because CVS and Rite Aid are both part of Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX), which is developing its own mobile payment system–CurrentC. Setting aside the fact that CurrentC has already been hacked before it’s even launched, rejecting Apple Pay is just a bad strategy that alienates a huge chunk of potential customers.
That’s OK. I prefer Walgreen’s anyway. Here is a bit from a blog post I wrote about the controversy:
There is apparently a battle brewing between Apple’s new contactless Apple Pay system, and a service called CurrentC, which is supported by a coalition of major retailers. CVS and Rite Aid Rite disabled the NFC capabilities on point-of-sale systems specifically to block customers from using Apple Pay—part of an effort to force customers to embrace a different emerging mobile payment system: CurrentC.
CurrentC is from Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX), a merchant-backed coalition that includes CVS, Rite Aid, Walmart, Best Buy, Lowe’s, Target, and other household names. CurrentC strives to bypass the major credit cards entirely—and avoid the associated processing fees, while also enabling the member retailers to closely track purchase habits and history, and integrate with merchant loyalty card programs.
Apple Pay takes a polar opposite approach. Apple partnered directly with the major banks, and credit card providers—Visa, Mastercard, American Express. The partners in the Apple Pay system account for more than 80 percent of credit card purchases made in the United States according to Apple.
Read the full story at Forbes: Blocking Apple Pay Is A Terrible Strategy For CurrentC Merchants.
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