CVS, Rite Aid Officially Block Apple Pay, MasterCard Calls Move “Baffling”

Drug Chains Rite Aid and CVS have disabled Apple Pay from working in their stores for as yet unclear reasons, reports the New York Times. One of the rumoured reasons is that both companies are members of the Merchant Customer eXchange (MCX) consortium, and not part of retailers teaming up with Apple to support its payment system.

Apple pay

The Apple Pay platform apparently highlighted a trend that can be noticed in the background: Rite Aid, CVS and CMX members are pushing their own system, CurrentC, which will be linked to a consumer’s debit account and allow participating retailers to bypass credit card companies and save money on the fees they pay per transaction.

In addition, it will help merchants keep track of customer shopping habits across the dozens of merchants who adopt the MCX system.

From MasterCard’s perspective, the two retailers are making business decisions, not customer satisfaction decisions.

“We think consumers should have the ability to pay any way they want,” said Ed McLaughlin, chief emerging payments officer at MasterCard. “Rite Aid and CVS have been accepting contactless payments for quite a long time,” Mr. McLaughlin added. “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,” Mr. McLaughlin of MasterCard said. “That’s what will win out in the end.”

Although the two were not part of the 220,000 partners Apple had at Apple Pay launch, customers with an iPhone 6 or 6 Plus could use their device to make a purchase, but not anymore. The two merchants are pushing for their own system, CurrentC, which, by the way, will be available in 2015.