Shortly following the launch of Apple Pay, some major retailers decided to disable the NFC payment terminals in their stores that’d previously been active as part of an effort to promote competing payment service CurrentC. Rite Aid was one of those retailers, but today the company announced that its reversing its decision.
Starting August 15, the near 4,600 Rite Aid stores across the country will begin accepting mobile payments including Apple Pay and Google Wallet. Rite Aid also plans to accept Android Pay once that service launches.
Rite Aid CEO Ken Martindale had this to say about the company’s decision to accept mobile payments:
"Increasingly, consumers are actively seeking out and incorporating mobile technology into many facets of their life, including their shopping and purchasing decisions. By accepting mobile payments, we're able to offer Rite Aid customers an easy and convenient checkout process, which we know is important to them. Investing in mobile technologies is just one piece of Rite Aid's evolving digital strategy and we will continue to explore, test and implement innovative technologies that will help us to better serve our valued customers."
Rite Aid’s decision to block Apple Pay is notable because before the service’s launch, stores accepted NFC payments, so Google Wallet ended up getting blocked along with Apple Pay. Now both services are going to be accepted at Rite Aid stores, and even Android Pay will work once it launches, which is exciting news for fans of Google’s green robot. It’s nice to see Rite Aid reverse its decision, and hopefully we’ll see other retailers that blocked Apple Pay do the same.