Apple Pay was released and announced this past September, and the payment system works well. So, why are various retailers no longer accepting this payment method? After the payment system worked at a number of retailers, a handful of those have decided to block the Apple Pay system. Here’s why.
Blocking Apple Pay
Over the past weekend, a few retailers including CVS and Rite Aid pharmacies have stopped accepting Apple Pay, and have blocked the payment systems entirely. Customers that were using Apple Pay without conflict were surprised when the pharmacies no longer accept the payment method. Reuters reports this morning that the blocked payment system may be a direct result of a new payment system that’s currently in the works by the Merchants Customer Exchange.
The Merchants Customer Exchange consists of a group of merchants (which CVS and Rite Aid are a part of) that are banding together to develop an entirely unique and new payment system. The group is working on something called CurrentC, which will act as a unique payment system for stores that are part of the group.
How CurrentC Will Work
The CurrentC system works through a barcode scanning method. Customers scan barcodes using the system, and it links directly with a customer’s debit card. How secure the system is or other details about the system have not been released, but pharmacy representatives have told press that they are still working out payment systems details, and that means that those companies that are part of the CurrentC plan are not likely to use other payment systems.
The retailers that are part of the Merchants Customer Exchange were (for the most part) not part of the original Apple deal. So, Apple isn’t losing any retailers that the company had originally hooked up with. However, the Apple Pay system was working and was being used at these retailers before the system was blocked by the Exchange.
Some Tough Competition
Even though CurrentC will not be available until early 2015, according to the system website, retailers that will be a part of the CurrentC plan do not want shoppers to get used to paying with Apple Pay, and, further, they do not want Apple to profit from the payment system while CurrentC is in the works.
Additional details about CurrentC have not been released yet, but it’s likely that this system will make shopping at various retailers easier for those shoppers that use the payment system. Apple Pay is not the only system currently being disabled by retailers like Rite Aid and CVS, these retailers have instructed employees not to accept Google Wallet payments either.
The space in the mobile payment system arena is already packed, and now companies like CVS and Rite Aid want a piece of the action, and those companies aren’t about to let Google and Apple take home all the mobile payment pie. Whether it’s something that customers want or not, this is the way that the mobile payment fight is bound to go down across many additional retailers in the near future.