Retailers Block Apple Pay Despite Early Popularity with Users

Major stores including Walmart, Gap, Rite Aid and CVS will no longer allow the use of Apple Pay. Instead, these companies are trying to push their own app, known as CurrentC, which would enable customers to pay directly with their checking accounts. CurrentC would save the retailers money on credit card transaction fees, but consumers seem to have already adopted ApplePay. In the first 72 hours of the Apple Pay launch, the service registered one million credit cards.

apple28The retailers that blocked Apple Pay in their stores are part of a consortium, the Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX). The CurrentC app is expected to come out in 2015, and it will rely on scanning QR codes at checkout.

According to Wired, the stores are trying to cut out the credit card companies with this new app, but the lack of innovative design will make it a hard sell. The marketing costs of trying to get users to download CurrentC may outweigh the savings.

By pulling Apple Pay at its stores, the retailers at MCX may be lowering standards for user experience. “Clearly Rite Aid and CVS are making a business decision over a customer satisfaction decision,” Patrick Moorhead, president of Moor Insights & Strategy, said.

The New York Times reports “the move could upset consumers who believe Apple’s new product is easier and safer than paying with a traditional credit card.”

More than one million users activated their credit cards on Apple Pay within the first three days of the payments service launch. Customers can use the service in more than 200,000 stores in the U.S.

Related Stories:
Apple Pay Registered One Million Credit Cards in First 72 Hours, Re/code, 10/27/14
An Alibaba-Apple Pay Marriage Could Pit Both Companies Against Beijing, Quartz, 10/28/14
Why it Took 15 Years for Apple Pay to Roll Out, The Conversation, 10/27/14