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You are here: MacNN Forums > News > Mac News > Apple responds to CVS, Rite Aid blocking Apple Pay

Apple responds to CVS, Rite Aid blocking Apple Pay
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Oct 27, 2014, 05:20 PM
 
Apple has issued a formal response to CVS and Rite Aid blocking Apple Pay at their stores. "The feedback we are getting from customers and retailers about Apple Pay is overwhelmingly positive and enthusiastic," the company says. "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."

CVS and Rite Aid are both believed to be backing a different payment standard, MCX's CurrentC. That technology will likely launch next year, and compete with Apple Pay and Google Wallet (also blocked by the pharmacies) with the support of a number of major retailers. In light of the Apple Pay controversy, it has emerged that CurrentC will use a more complex QR code-based scheme, and may also track users' purchase histories and trends. It may even require entering bank account and routing numbers, whereas Apple Pay and Google Wallet both simply require credit or debit card numbers. Cards can be entered into Apple Pay with a photo scan.

BI estimates that CurrentC will initially be supported at 110,000 US retail locations, half of Apple Pay's current level. The balance could theoretically change over time however.
     
climacs
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Oct 27, 2014, 06:08 PM
 
if Apple decides not to offer CurrentC's app in the App Store (it could be very easy to come up with security-related reasons), then what will MCX do? While waiting for the rollout, ApplePay and Google Wallet will continue to gain traction. Full of fail.
     
djbeta
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Oct 27, 2014, 07:05 PM
 
I guess I'll be buying my stuff from Walgreens. Too bad.. I actually DID prefer shopping at CVS. Did = past tense.
     
iphonerulez
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Oct 27, 2014, 07:21 PM
 
Here's hoping Apple Pay simply overwhelms CurrentC until it hurts those backing it. Anyway, I don't have a problem with them wanting to use CurrentC. Only time will tell whether most consumers accept it or not. With so many banks and retailers taking Apple Pay it would seem that CVS and Rite Aid are swimming upstream instead of with the flow. That's their choice.
     
azrich
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Oct 27, 2014, 07:48 PM
 
I would prefer Apple get local shops on board vs big chains, but only if it doesn't cost the local shops more.
     
Charles Martin
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Oct 27, 2014, 08:47 PM
 
After looking into CurrentC's proposed payment system, I have to say -- completely ignoring the options of Apple Pay or Google Wallet or Software -- this has to be some kind of joke. Nobody is going to use it over just paying by card, because it's far too complicated. Go check it out for yourselves, you will be quite amazed. Stock up on the popcorn, folks -- the fail here is going to be EPIC.
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LenE
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Oct 27, 2014, 08:55 PM
 
Not shopping at CVS or RiteAid, doesn't send them a message. You are not a customer at that point.

Getting all the crap you want to buy to the counter, then failing to be able to buy it with Apple Pay or Google Wallet, and leaving the crap at the counter, will. Especially if done several hundred times a day at every store.
     
LenE
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Oct 27, 2014, 08:56 PM
 
I should add, that the counter dumps should be of things you would and could legitimately buy with Apple Pay or Google Wallet, until this last weekend.
     
Stuke
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Oct 27, 2014, 10:51 PM
 
CVS, Rite Aid, and the mass box retailers will fail with CurrentC. If you go and read about it, you see it is about as convenient as swiping your own card, putting it back into your purse or wallet, then having the teenager ask to see it for the last four numbers. Chip and PIN will be the next step until Apple Pay hits big time in one or two more generations of Apple iPhones. Google wallet and PayPal systems, also NFC-based ,will ride along with Apple. Just sit back and wait...chip and PIN is the norm in Europe and it is quite easy. It will come here before CurrentC even gets commercials!
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unicast reversepath
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Oct 28, 2014, 12:14 AM
 
Apple Pay: no data collection isn't a feature,its a problem

(venturebeat.com/2014/10/27/apple-pay-no-data-collection-isnt-a-feature-its-a-problem)


Why Rite Aid and CVS Stopped Taking Apple Pay - Businessweek
( Last edited by unicast reversepath; Oct 28, 2014 at 12:28 AM. )
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climacs
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Oct 28, 2014, 01:51 AM
 
you'd have to be some kind of ginormous ****ing prick to do a counter dump. The poor saps working in the stores are the ones who get to put all that crap away, they are about as far removed as it gets from those making the actual decisions about these payment systems, and I assure you not one of them gives a rat's ass about anything that inconveniences what they see as their replaceable workforce.
     
keithhat
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Oct 28, 2014, 02:54 AM
 
Sent a customer complaint to CVS using their web site feedback form on Saturday. I threatened to move my Pharmacy business to Walgreens which is located 300 yards from my local CVS if they don't support Apple Pay. I have a serious illness so this is lots of expensive prescriptions. No response from CVS which means they either 1. Don't care or 2. Have received some many complaints over the weekend they are overwhelmed which is why they have not responded to me. Send your feedback here: http://www.cvs.com/help/email-customer-relations.jsp?callType=store&topicid=200018
     
LenE
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Oct 28, 2014, 01:54 PM
 
@climacs - have you ever been stranded at the counter when your credit cards were killed because the purchase was at an MCX member that didn't want to process credit card transactions? It happened to me at a Walmart and a CVS outside of my geographic home area. In the case of Walmart, they went as far as to trip the fraud protection on my account, but still wouldn't allow the transaction after I had cleared it with my bank.

There is nothing unfair in returning the favor, as long as the purchases were legitimate in the first place. It isn't personal or against the cashiers. I want to be a happy customer. I want to get done with my business with them as soon as possible. If my transaction cannot be completed due to corporate decision making, then they will bear the cost of time to reverse the scavenger hunt.
     
FireWire
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Oct 28, 2014, 06:32 PM
 
It's not clear whether they are blocking Apple Pay and Google specifically or all NFC payment? Different articles have different information... One article says that they block all contact-less (NFC) payment, so even NFC-equiped Visa credit card...
     
Mike Wuerthele
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Oct 28, 2014, 07:01 PM
 
NFC at the local CVS I just went to worked fine. There was a delightful sign saying specifically that Apple Pay and Google Wallet wasn't working.
     
chimaera
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Oct 28, 2014, 07:46 PM
 
Mike, could you snap a pic of the sign next time you're there? I'm probably not the only curious person.

I'm wondering if the sign gives an ETA for when they'll have their system fixed. Or any statement about the cause of the problem.
     
Mike Wuerthele
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Oct 28, 2014, 08:20 PM
 
Originally Posted by chimaera View Post
Mike, could you snap a pic of the sign next time you're there? I'm probably not the only curious person.
Sure. It was delightfully handwritten, with spelling errors, so that was a nice touch.

I'm wondering if the sign gives an ETA for when they'll have their system fixed. Or any statement about the cause of the problem.
The problem is they don't want to accept Google Wallet and Apple Pay. ETA: never.
     
FireWire
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Oct 28, 2014, 11:49 PM
 
I'm wondering if CC companies could take action against them, or even the law... It's one thing to not support a technology for technical reason, but it's another to cripple a compatible system to exclude specific competitors... Apple has major CC companies on its side, they even managed to get a lower fee for the retailer, by treating Apple Pay as a "card present" purchase rather than absent like regular NFC credit cards, so CVS are shooting themselves in the foot because people will use their physical NFC Visa instead and it will cost them more..
     
   
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