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CVS, Rite Aid Shut Out Apple Pay

Article Comments  19  

Oct 27, 2014, 7:19 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

CVS and Rite Aid have disabled the NFC-based payment systems within their stores, effectively preventing consumers from using Apple Pay to make tap-and-go payments. Spokesperson Ashley Flower said Rite Air "does not currently accept Apple Pay" and that Rite Aid is "still in the process of evaluating out mobile payment options." CVS did not provide a comment, but Apple Pay worked in CVS stores when the service launched on October 20 and and ceased to work over the weekend. Neither CVS nor Rite Aid was ever officially named by Apple as an Apple Pay supporter, but both have NFC-equipped payment terminals in their retail locations. Though neither company said why they don't support Apple Pay, some believe it is because they are backing a rival mobile payment system being developed by the Merchant Customer Exchange. The MCX launched in 2012 with the goal of creating a mobile payment service for smartphones. The MCX app is not expected to reach consumers until next year. The original list of supporters included 7-Eleven, Alon Brands, CVS/Pharmacy, Darden Restaurants, HMSHost, Hy-Vee, Lowe's, Publix Super Markets, Sears, Shell Oil, and Sunoco, though an unknown number of organizations have joined since 2012. According to the New York Times, MCX's app will be called CurrentC and involves scanning a QR code on the phone's display. Apple Pay is simpler to use, as consumers don't even have to wake their phones to make payments.


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Oct 27, 2014, 10:31 AM

Two Different Systems

Part of the problem that has gone unreported is that these MCX has a critical difference from Apple Pay and Google Wallet.

MCX is for store credit cards only. To date no banks have signed on, no major credit card labels have signed on, and it is unable to initiate any transactions with a Visa, Mastercard, AmEx, Discover, etc. If you go into Target and use the MCX system you will ONLY be able to pay with your Target Card. This is a major limitation that will seriously restrict customer adoption of the app.

I have used Google Wallet (and understand the under pinnings of how Apple Pay works and it should be the same for Apple Pay) and they process everything through partner financial institutions. In the case of Apple Pay the processi...
Google Wallet accepted a limited number of store credit cards on launch, I'm not sure that is still true today.

What MCX has effectively done is stalled the adoption of a widely accepted mobile payment solution, possibly damaging the market moving ...
"Apple Pay is simpler to use, as consumers don't even have to wake their phones to make payments."

How's that a good thing? Someone can run a payment without you even knowing. Are people really that lazy that it's too much work to take an active ...

Oct 27, 2014, 11:39 AM

fine with me ! i just take my busines to walgreen

oh. and i shorted cvs this morning. haha

Oct 27, 2014, 7:41 AM

Factual Reporting: All NFC, Not Just Apple Pay

Any device or card-with-a-chip that supports the NFC protocol for contactless payments has been disabled, this includes Google Wallet. It is by no means specific to Apple Pay.

Factual reporting is always a good choice 🙄
Wasn't an un-factual report, just very selective reporting. Gotta watch out for things like that in media, they can be very selective of which facts are reported and which are not to mislead you from the full facts without technically lying.
The first line is "CVS and Rite Aid have disabled the NFC-based payment systems within their stores," it doesn't say they just disabled Apple Pay. Now, it does go on to talk about Apple Pay being disabled, but come on. It was released a week a...

Oct 27, 2014, 7:53 AM

This, basically, sucks...

I have been an avid proponent of NFC, and have been using it for years-- first with my Galaxy S3, then with my Nexus 4 and now with my Nexus 5.

There are multiple ecosystems supporting NFC-- Google Wallet, Softcard (the system formerly known as ISIS) and now Apple Pay. All supporting a common terminal structure that was multi-vendor.

Now MCX is creating a system that requires customers to load yet another proprietary app on their phones, as opposed to using a standards based system and a common terminal structure.

If there was a technical reason for abandoning NFC, I could understand. But to build out yet another proprietary system seems to only serve MCX, and not their client or consumers.
simple enough...I just wont shop at those places.
I wouldn't be surprised if MCX didn't go the non NFC route so that Apple users could use the app as well. I would guess they started designing the software well before the iPhone 6 launched and they knew for sure if it had NFC.

Oct 27, 2014, 8:35 AM


Do any of these methods award the customer with reward $ like credit cards do? If not, why change?
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