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NYT: Rite Aid and CVS Officially Disable Apple Pay in Their Stores

NYT: Rite Aid and CVS Officially Disable Apple Pay in Their Stores

Reports last week indicated that drugstore chains Rite Aid and CVS were disabling Apple Pay as a payment option in their stores. Now, a report from The New York Times reports both chains have officially disabled Apple Pay in their stores nationwide.

Apple Pay


The NYT reports that Rite Aid has joined CVS in disabling Apple Pay as a payment method in its stores. Like CVS, Rite Aid is a member of the Merchant Customer eXchange (MCX) consortium promoting a rival mobile payment service, CurrentC.

Over 2,000 comments across several Reddit threads on the topic indicate users are threatening to boycott stores which disable Apple Pay. Android users are also joining in the calls for a boycott, as the disabling of NFC payments also disables Google Wallet on Android devices.

Apple Pay initially worked in both CVS and Rite Aid stores, indicating a conscious decision on the part of both chains to disable NFC payment methods, including Apple Pay and Google Wallet payments.

A MasterCard executive says the stores are making the wrong decision:

“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.”

CVS and Rite Aid both belong to a group of retailers, including Walmart, Best Buy,Kmart, and 7-Eleven, that has been working since 2012 on CurrentC, a plan to enable payments via a mobile app.

The CurrentC app will require iOS and Android users to launch an app at checkout. (The app requires an internet connection, unlike Apple Pay.) The app then produces a QR bar code that retailers then have to scan.

Instead of drawing against a user’s credit card or debit card, CurrentC’s QR code draws directly from the user’s checking account, a gift card, or cards issued by the program. Apple Pay and Google Wallet are designed to work with a user’s existing debit and credit cards, allowing them to continue to earn reward points, or any other perks they already receive.

While Apple Pay doesn’t supply retailers with any data on customers via their purchases, CurrentC will allow retailers to obtain data on their customers purchasing habits that can later be sold to others.

MasterCard is confident that Apple Pay will prevail.

“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.”

As of Sunday night, one user informed us Apple Pay still worked in at least one Rite Aid location in Manhattan:

While we don’t condone boycotts, as they seldom prove successful, we’d like to know what our readers think. Will you be boycotting merchants who don’t accept NFC payments such as Apple Pay and Google Wallet, or will you continue to shop at stores such as Rite Aid and CVS? Please, share your thoughts in the comments section below.