iOS and Android Users Unite To Fight Rite Aid/CVS Over NFC Mobile Payments Ban


Last week, it was reported that U.S. based drugstore Rite Aid started to disable support for payments using NFC or Apple Pay. Over the weekend, CVS also announced that they would be following in Rite Aid’s footsteps and started preventing customers from using these mobile payment solutions.

Both CVS and Rite Aid are a part of the MCX (Merchant Customer eXchange) consortium, which promotes a rival mobile payment service called CurrentC. CurrentC uses a QR code-based system that is far more cumbersome than solutions like Apple Pay and Google Wallet.

Several Apple Pay users have threatened to boycott retail stores that don’t accept Apple Pay. Various Reddit threads have been created to discuss the topic. Although iOS users are upset about this situation, a number of Android users are joining in the conversation.

Many Android phones also have the ability to make payments over NFC using Google Wallet. The decision from CVS and Rite Aid to block NFC payments also affects Android users’ ability to use their mobile payments solution.

ApplePayIn a statement MasterCard’s chief emerging payments officer Ed McLaughlin said that both companies made the wrong decision and he hopes that they will reconsider.

“We think consumers should have the ability to pay any way they want. Rite Aid and CVS have been accepting contactless payments for quite a long time. We look forward to them turning the functionality back on in their stores.

Apple Pay is the most convenient, most secure, and what’s best for consumers”

Apple has also issued a comment on the above issue, saying that the feedback they are receiving for Apple Pay is overwhelmingly positive and they are working to get even more retailers on board.

What do you think about CVS and Rite Aid’s decision to prevent customers from paying using an NFC-based mobile payments system? Let us know in the comments below.

[via 9to5Mac]


  • Alan

    CurrentC is going to fail miserably. The people that will even consider using a mobile payment solution are those that are tech-savvy. What are the chances they will even try this after all the security holes have been outed? Apple Pay and Google Wallet users are the prime market for this service, and they have alienated all of them. Do they they think everybody’s grandparents is going to sign on, so they have nothing to worry about?

  • cdnchinaman

    Finally something Apple and Android users can agree on!

  • Salvador

    Yes, CurrentC will fail, but not at launch. They will get a “faux positive” success at beginning cashing in some users with devices not supported for either Apple Pay or Google Wallet. But in 2 or 3 years from now, when the upgrade circle of old devices get completed, no one will be talking about CurrentC, not even the history books on school. Retailers trying to push for CurrentC blocking other methods are going to suffer the loss of customers that are going to buy elsewhere. At the end, CurrentC will hurt its backers.

  • Tim

    I remember the days when I paid with cash … which was in fact, just yesterday

  • Al

    Those are ambitious declarations. Personally, I think CurrentC will be trashed before the end of November and, at best, they will start working on an alternate solution … or just give up on the idea completely.

    The entire concept is flawed anyway. It’s cumbersome. It’s not private. It aims to track you. ANNNNDDDDD…. Not using credit cards but going to straight to your bank account?! Seriously?!? North America thrives on debt! This ain’t gonna fly with most consumers.

    CurrentC was doomed before it began.

  • Chrome262

    I agree, and QCR codes are not always the easiest to read, hell if I don’t have the brightness up they can’t read my starbucks card and its a simple bar code. And while NFC will offer straight to debit, it still runs through the card, plus the phone security. Wallet and Apple pay can make the transaction anonymous. Even more so then direct card use. Plus you don’t have to carry your cards, so even if someone steals your phone, you don’t have to go and cancel everything, just wipe your phone remotely.

  • Ryan

    Speaking of Starbucks… CurrentC sounds more like a ripoff of what they have been using then anything else. You don’t see Starbucks shutting down their no-touch systems. Would actually enjoy seeing starbucks team up with Apple and Google to have their gift cards added to their NFC database!