Thwarting ApplePay – smart move?

Written by on October 27, 2014 in News with 0 Comments

Some retailers in the USA appear to be switching off their near field communications (NFC) payment terminals specifically to prevent iPhone 6 users attempting to pay with ApplePay.

The report on MacRumors states that pharmacy chains RiteAid and CVS have intentionally thwarted Apple Pay. Google Wallet services are also being affected by the move. Neither chain signed up for ApplePay but the payments system generally works with existing NFC payment terminals anyway.

According to MacRumors, the reason behind Rite Aid’s and CVS’s moves to disable unofficial Apple Pay support in their stores is presumably related to their participation in Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX), a retailer group developing its own mobile payments system known as CurrentC. Leaked documents seem to confirm this.

Walgreens, with over 8,000 stores around the United States which has fully embraced Apple Pay and is one of Apple’s launch partners for the service. Judging from the comments appearing online Walgreen’s could pick up some new customers. One has to question the wisdom of any retailer, particularly in such a competitive retail sector, turning away business for any reason – specially if it is costing them nothing.

The idea of waiting for MCX to come online and build a ‘walled garden’ payment enclave has proved disastrous for other businesses and with CVS and RiteAid might find this put the hard way after losing loyal customers and experiencing a drop in sales. By that time it will probably be too late.

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About the Author: Tony is a freelance writer, regular speaker, MC and chairman for the telecoms and digital services industries worldwide. He has founded and managed software and services companies, acts a market strategist and is now Editor of DisruptiveViews. In June 2011, Tony was recognized as one of the 25 most influential people in telecom software worldwide. .

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