Drugstore chain Rite Aid has reportedly disabled Apple’s new mobile payments service, “Apple Pay,” on its store’s point of sale terminals, after activating it earlier this week.
Apple Pay should technically be compatible with any point-of-sale systems supporting NFC technology, but customers who made successful Apple Pay payments earlier this week have found their payments were being denied yesterday and today.
User Josh Hudnall took to his blog on Thursday, to share his experiences, and his conclusion that Rite Aid is deliberately preventing Apple Pay transactions in its stores. Hudnall related how an Apple Pay transaction at his local Rite Aid went fine on Wednesday, however, he came away disappointed today:
Today, Allison asked me to pick up a few things on my way home from the office, and I’m a major nerd, so naturally I was all too happy to oblige. I was equally disappointed, then, when my transaction was declined with a message on the terminal informing me that Apple Pay was not supported. The terminal mentioned Apple Pay by name. So the system is smart enough to know about Apple Pay and to decide not to take it.
The cashier then informed Hudnall that an email had gone out to stores telling them that Rite Aid is not accepting Apple Pay payments. Hudnall believes it may be due to Rite Aid’s involvement as a supporter of the upcoming CurrentC payments system from Merchant Customer Exchange. (MCX)
Twitter reports indicate that the drugstore chain also turned off support for Google Wallet at the same time it terminated Apple Pay support. Rite Aid has yet to confirm the shut down of either service.
MCX enjoys support from a number of retailers, including Walmart, Best Buy, Bed Bath & Beyond, Sears, CVS, 7-Eleven, Wendy’s and more. Which would be a good reason why those retailers have been slow to support Apple Pay.
Why can’t retailers support all payment systems? Make sense, right? The more you support, the more customers can easily spend money in your store. More options, more payments, more profits, right? Well, TUAW reports that apparently, MCX’s policy is such that it’s members cannot accept payment from other mobile wallets.