Apple Pay officially launched last week with the support of three major credit card companies and several retailers, including Walgreens and Whole Foods. Unfortunately for iOS users, many other retailers are now blocking Apple’s new mobile payment service.
MacRumors points to multiple reports that show that CVS is actively disabling the NFC payment terminals in its store, blocking Apple Pay as well as Google Wallet and other mobile payment solutions in the process. A leaked memo shared by SlashGear suggested that Rite Aid intended to do the same, and the company confirmed to iMore that it “does not currently accept Apple Pay.”
That same leaked Rite Aid memo explained that the firm is “working with a group of large retailers to develop a mobile wallet that allows for mobile payments attached to credit cards and bank accounts directly from a smart phone.” This system is called CurrentC and is expected to launch in the first half of 2015. CurrentC works by loading a QR code on your mobile device that, when scanned, draws directly from your checking account.
The news of major retailers blocking Apple Pay is disappointing for many reasons. It’s a bummer not only because Apple’s system has only been out for a week and is already facing resistance, but some retailers’ decision to disable NFC affects users of Google Wallet and other similar mobile payment platforms. Plus, it's disappointing that several retailers are blocking these existing payment services just so that they can try to make their own system popular.
What will be interesting is seeing how Apple responds to this news. The Cupertino firm is a major player in the tech segment, and while it may not take any crazy drastic measures against CVS, Rite Aid and others, I’m sure that it’d like to see Apple Pay take off. With direct checking account access and QR codes, I’m not sure how popular CurrentC’s system will be with consumer, so maybe Apple will just wait to see how the public reacts to CurrentC.
What do you make of this news? Do you think CurrentC has a shot at success or do you think retailers should keep accepting NFC for Apple Pay, Google Wallet and more?