Apple has responded with a statement to Business Insider regarding the current situation where MCX retail partners CVS and Rite Aid have disabled NFC in an attempt to thwart Apple Pay:
The feedback we are getting from customers and retailers about Apple Pay is overwhelmingly positive and enthusiastic. We are working to get as many merchants as possible to support this convenient, secure and private payment option for consumers. Many retailers have already seen the benefits and are delighting their customers at over 220,000 locations.
Both U.S. drug store chains turned off NFC in payment terminals on the weekend, which has resulted in Apple Pay and Google Wallet users no longer able to make wireless payments. This morning, MasterCard called the move to disable NFC payment terminals “baffling” and stated customers should “have the ability to pay any way they want.”
@MorganHighley Currently, CVS can’t accept ApplePay or o/ mobile payments using NFC technology. We’re now evaluating mobile payment options.
— CVS/pharmacy (@CVS_Extra) October 27, 2014
MCX retailer partners are set to implement CurrentC, an app which lets users pay via QR code, tied to their debit accounts to bypass credit card transactions fees. The app also provides customer shopping data such as spend amount, location, and device info to merchants, unlike Apple Pay.
Dodd Roberts from the Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX) spoke at the 2013 NFC Mobile Money Summit in New York City last year. Here’s how he believes MCX will change mobile payments and ‘engagement’–of course, this was before Apple Pay was announced, which probably threw a huge wrench in their plans: