Earlier this week, pharmacy chain Rite Aid shut down unofficial support for the Apple Pay and Google Wallet mobile payments systems, resulting in an outcry from users who have been testing out Apple’s new system since its launch on Monday. Rite Aid was not an official Apple Pay partner, but the payments system generally works with existing near field communications (NFC) payment terminals anyway, and many users had had success using Apple Pay at Rite Aid stores early in the week.
It now appears that fellow major pharmacy chain CVS is following suit and as of today is shutting down the NFC functionality of its payment terminals entirely, a move presumably intended to thwart Apple Pay. Google Wallet services are obviously also being affected by the move.
These retailers are part of a group (Merchant Customer Exchange, “MCX”) working on an upcoming mobile payment system called CurrentC. Here’s an article about CurrentC by Debbie Simurda, writing for Mainstreet Inc., a point-of-sale provider:
CurrentC mobile payments platform by Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX) is a mobile wallet being developed by a group of major retailers who want greater control of payments, their mobile brand and mobile customer experience. They want to keep more of their customer data, rather than ceding to technology companies. MCX was established in 2012 and currently consists of 59 participating retailers, many large Tier 1 merchants, across all segments. […]
A stupid authoritarian response to a distributed approach. Of course it will fail.
So, let’s inconvenience millions of customers, not let them use theur credit cards the way they want, only use debit cards or store-bought gift cards.
What Apple gets and what no one else in the industry does is that using your mobile device for payments will only work if it’s far easier and better than using a credit card. With CurrentC, you’ll have to unlock your phone, launch their app, point your camera at a QR code, and wait. With Apple Pay, you just take out your phone and put your thumb on the Touch ID sensor.
These stores do not care about the customer’s experience. They see the customer in the same way many sociopathic corporations do – as sheep to he sheared. So, let’s make it impossible for millions to use a convenient payment system.
All so they can make a little more money. And by keeping the customer’s data for themselves.IN contrast, Apple Pay does not store any customer’s data.
They hope to win. To beat Apple. By making it harder for customers to pay. Idiots.
They’re doing this so they can pursue a system that is less secure (third-party apps don’t have access to the secure element where Apple Pay stores your credit card data, for one thing), less convenient (QR codes?), and not private.
So when I walk into Best Buy, select a $800 TV to buy, walk up to pay and pull out my iPhone (because why carry credit cards) to use their NFC system, I will find out that Best Buy has actually shut down its wireless payment system to prevent me from paying.
So I will just walk away and they lose a sale. What if 10 of us do this is a row? How about 10 of us at 100 different stores, at the same time? $800,000 lost in sales. Maybe they would get the message.
A flash mob for Apple Pay!