While Apple Pay has seen a rather buggy start, its popularity is still well-noticed, but not all retail stores want in on the fun, and CVS and Rite Aid have actually shut down NFC payments all together in order to shut out Apple Pay and make room for its own digital payment platform.
According to The New York Times, both CVS and Rite Aid have stopped accepting Apple Pay and went ahead and shut down all NFC payment options, but the reason behind the move wasn’t officially declared by either store.
However, many people believe that the shutdown was in part because both stores plan to roll out its own digital payment service early next year, known as CurrentC. This payment platform is run by Merchant Customer Exchange, which is a group consisting of a handful of retail stores, including Walmart and Best Buy, both of which also stated that they would not be supporting Apple Pay.
Ed McLaughlin, who is the chief emerging payments officer at MasterCard, says that “Rite Aid and CVS have been accepting contactless payments for quite a long time,” which only speaks volumes of what kind of impact Apple Pay has had recently since its launch last week. For both CVS and Rite Aid to shut down NFC payments all together after accepting it as a payment option for several years now is quite telling, and proves that Apple Pay is making a dent in the NFC payment industry.
The Merchant Customer Exchange praises its upcoming CurrentC payment platform, as it links directly to users’ debit accounts, which bypasses card companies and their transaction fees. However, it’s not the best solution for the consumer. The system uses QR codes that requires the user to unlock their phone, open up an app, and display a QR code that gets scanned by the pay terminal reader, whereas Apple Pay simply requires users to take out their iPhones and point it close to the NFC terminal with their finger on the Touch ID sensor.
Plus, CurrentC collects all sorts of information about your purchases, making it one of the least favorite options when it comes to user privacy.
Whether or not CVS and Rite Aid stick with CurrentC is up in the air, as the platform hasn’t even launched yet, but we wouldn’t be surprised to see the platform fail eventually and have these stores quickly switch back to Apple Pay.
iOS and Android users alike are banding together, though, and a thread on Reddit inviting Android users to join iOS in the fight to bring NFC payments back has reached the front page of the popular website. Whether or not it will work is still something that will take time to decide, but this is one instance where Apple and Android users are finally getting along.
Apple Pay allows you to store your credit card information on your iPhone and use it to buy stuff at any store that supports Apple Pay. The iPhone 6 has an NFC chip that allows you to tap the pay terminal at a store to instantly buy goods. Furthermore, doing this doesn’t give the store your credit card information, so you’re less susceptible to store hacks that steal credit card information, similar to the recent Home Depot and Target hacks.
Apple Pay also works with mobile shopping apps, allowing you to pay with a single touch of the Touch ID fingerprint sensor in shopping apps that support the feature.
While Apple’s new payment system has hit its fair share of problems, the company should be able to iron out all the kinks fairly quickly, along with the help of partnered banks and retail stores that accept Apple Pay.
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