Apple Pay tussle with CVS, Rite Aid the first shot in mobile payments war

“The decision by CVS Health Corp. and Rite Aid Corp. to block Apple Inc.’s mobile-payment technology presages a long fight over the fees and customer data collected when people use smartphones to buy stuff,” Craig Giammona reports for Bloomberg. “Along with companies such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Best Buy Co., which have said they won’t use Apple Pay, the pharmacy chains are holding out for a retailer-developed mobile-payment system known as CurrentC that’s slated to debut next year.”

“Their aim is to help retailers avoid credit-card transaction fees while giving them more sway over customer-reward programs,” Giammona reports. “On the other side are technology companies such as Apple, which have developed their own platforms and are keeping their transaction data anonymous. The stakes will only rise in coming years if, as predicted, Apple Pay gains acceptance by the increasing number of iPhone users.”

“Apple said the feedback it’s gotten on its new payment system from customers and retailers has been ‘overwhelmingly positive,'” Giammona reports. “‘We are working to get as many merchants as possible to support this convenient, secure and private payment option for consumers,’ said Trudy Muller, a spokeswoman for the Cupertino, California-based company. ‘Many retailers have already seen the benefits and are delighting their customers at over 220,000 locations.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: In just one week, Apple Pay has already facilitated more transactions than all other ‘contact less’ payment methods combined! (Which shows how much of an epic faceplant Google Wallet has been; released over three years ago on September 19, 2011.)

Boycott CVS and Rite Aid and any other company that willfully turns off NFC in a effort to block the vastly more secure, much more private, and far easier-to-use Apple Pay service.

• Email complaints to CVS Customer Relations here.

• Email complaints to Rite Aid Customer Relations here.

Related articles:
In one week, Apple Pay already No. 1; used more than all other mobile payment systems combined – October 28, 2014
Alibaba’s Jack Ma says open to working with Apple on Apple Pay – October 28, 2014
Tim Cook blasts CVS, Rite Aid over Apple Pay blockade: ‘You only are relevant if your customers love you’ – October 28, 2014
Seeking personal data, Walmart, Best Buy, and others won’t let shoppers enjoy Apple Pay privacy – October 27, 2014
Boycott CVS and Rite Aid – October 27, 2014
Bad business: CVS and Rite Aid antagonize their most well-heeled customers by blocking Apple Pay – October 27, 2014
CVS stores reportedly disabling NFC to shut down Apple Pay – October 25, 2014
iPhone users earn significantly more than those who settle for Android phones – October 8, 2014
Yet more proof that Android is for poor people – June 27, 2014
More proof that Android is for poor people – May 13, 2014
Apple’s iOS dominates in richer countries, Android in poorer regions – March 25, 2014
Twitter heat map shows iPhone use by the affluent, Android by the poor – June 20, 2013
iPhone users smarter, richer than Android phone users – August 16, 2011
Yankee Group: Apple iPhone owners shop more, buy more, remain more loyal vs. other device users – July 20, 2010


  1. Thank you for the links to CVS and Rite Aid, I already wrote them. How to reach and complain to Best Buy and Walmart… Links?

    This takes me back to the days of Guy Kawasaki’s Evangelist, when we hammered the press for distorting coverage of Apple. If enough people speak up, they will reverse their bone headed and self defeating decision.

  2. My BofA credit card was just frozen (and later thawed) because of unusual activity. I’ve used Apple Pay about 20 times this week, usually for fast food purchases under $5. I used to pay with cash. Apple Pay is changing my buying habits! All good.

  3. MDN – you should start a topic so we can keep track of places we’re using Pay at, that are not advertised by Apple as a “partner”. For instance, I have been using Pay a lot at the local BP Gas Station – I don’t see them on Apple’s list of partners.

    If we users know where it is accepted, and use Pay there often, they may be less likely to turn if off like CVS & WrongAid.

      1. But not all NFC Terminals accept Pay – CVS, Rite Aid, Tim Horton’s are all listed on the MC Nearby APP. While my local BP is not. I believe the BP terminals are tagged as Visa PayWave, not MC PayPass – probably why they’re not showing on the app.

        NFC availability, and Pay acceptance are 2 different issues now.

      1. Every oil company has an oil spill sooner or later. Some spills are small and others are incredibly large.

        It takes a major screw up to get drivers to go past one gas companies’ oil spill and drive extra miles to get to a less spectacular gas companies’ spill.

        Get a Chevy Volt and get your electricity from the smallest hydro-electric dam you can find.

      2. All the hate towards gas and coal, no acknowledgement that our entire civilization came out of the dark ages because of it. Such a pathetically limited view of history.

      3. Who were the companies who actually owned and operated the rig on BP’s behalf? Both American, but it was BP got the flack, because they’re British Petroleum. Although, oddly enough, 48% American owned, and who’s earnings benefit American pension investors.
        And the damage, like that caused by the Exxon Valdez, (remember that?),
        Isn’t permanent, crude oil breaks down biologically, the detergents used can cause more damage.
        The area affected by Exxon Valdez now shows little evidence of oil contamination.

    1. I’ve been using Pay at Peets Coffee. It’s pretty funny too since the reader has the Google Wallet logo on it and I have never, not one time ever seen anyone use it until Pay came along.

  4. The best way to send a message to these thugs is to
    Go to their store…Losd ip your shopping cart to tye rim… Have the cashier scan all items…and at the end offer Applepsy to them.. If they say we dont accept Applepay walk away with all your stuff left at the counter !

      1. respectfully disagree..
        Employees are there and are paid for the time they spend working there…. restocking , orgnizing or doing whatever …..
        If these thugs are trying to manipulate the customer by limiting a very legit and efficant option for payment , stricktly for their selfish reasons , I have no reason to be considerate of their employe’s efficiancy !
        The emplyee will get his pay and go home at the end of the day With zero harm inflicted on them

        1. Hopefully one of those clerks / managers will find out where you work, and drop by to give you a little something extra to do every now and then! Since according to you, as long as you’re being paid, anyone can increase your work load whenever they feel like it, and however they see fit.

          I can almost guarantee the only thing that will be heard after you pull a stunt like that, is the clerk muttering “dick” under their breath. Listen carefully as you walk away.

      2. The employees, including management, of individual store affected by parent corp decisions are not to blame. Harassing them will not paint a positive picture of Apple Pay or its users. You should enlist their support, not make them enemies through what amounts to vandalism.

    1. What are you going to do when they reverse their decision and start accepting Pay overnight? You’re going to end up waiting even longer for a refund on a cart full of crap you don’t want!

      The employees behind the counter, and the manager in the store office, didn’t make this decision to stop accepting Pay. There’s no sense in causing them extra work, or being obnoxious to them.

      Their corporate offices made the decision, the links to send a comment directly to them have been posted here multiple times the past few days. Do the grown up thing and send a sensibly worded letter of complaint to them, but stop harassing the local employees that work in your community.

      Such public displays are only going to be limited to the few customers and employees in the store at the time, and will not be heard by the decision makers in their corporate headquarters.

      1. Two things..
        i never said get things u dont want!
        Employees or managers get paid for threir time there.. And they still will.
        No harm to them in any shape or form !

        1. So the customer behind you gets to wait while a cart full of stuff gets rung up at the register, then you make your public declaration how not accepting apple pay is wrong, then gets to wait some more while the clerk calls the store manager to the register to override the transaction, then move all the stuff some place else, before they can take that persons order and money. It seems to me the only person you’re hurting or irritating there is the poor person behind trying to pick up a bottle of aspirin for their headache that you just made exceedingly worse!

          1. The retailer threw the first punch when they decided to limit my payment option for stricktly their selfish reasons!
            Everything else is a consuquense of that!
            They dont want to piss off their customers .. Let them adjust their ways first.
            Im there to pay them.. They should accomodate me ! Not the other way around !

      2. These publc displayswill be heard by the managrment on top and will introduce inefficancies to the store operation.

        I also encourage everyone to write to all these retailors who choose manipukate and limit our payment choice.
        I have .. Including DOJ … For what ever it is worth
        better than doing nothing at all!

  5. I predict these retailers will reverse course and begin accepting Pay before CurrentC even debuts. I also predict CurrentC will have major bugs in it when it does debut, because they’re now going to have to rush it out before Pay gets so widespread that people can’t imagine using anything else, especially not something which takes more steps and actually may slow down your purchase.

  6. Just wrote to Rite-Aid. Giving them till Feb 2015 to get their act together, that is when I will be buying my Apple Watch with Apple Pay (to work with my 5C). If Rite-Aid (which is right across the street from me) has not reversed their decision, I will move my prescriptions to Walgreens (a few miles away).

    1. Yep, and it’s really just total greed on their part. I mean, if they want to track your buying history, they already have a way. It’s called a rewards card.


  7. I went into a Rite Aid – bought something small – tried to use Apple Pay and got the message that they don’t accept it. So I pull my Debit card out of my wallet that is NFC enabled and it worked at the same register / terminal. Which made me wonder …

    Does MC, Visa, AMEX have written into their terms of use, that if the store has NFC terminals they have to accept PayPass (MC), PayWave (Visa), ExpressPay (AMEX) as a form of payment at those terminals?

    Could MC, Visa, AMEX eventually rewrite their terms of use, to say if you have NFC terminals you have to accept their NFC cards AND Apple Pay?

    It appears the card companies love Apple Pay, you’d think they’d be all over CVS and Rite Aid right now about this.

          1. A similar experience at a Tim Horton’s too – the NFC terminal triggered the approval process on my Apple Pay but kept declining the card. I took my debit card out of my wallet, waved it at the same terminal and it approved the NFC transaction for the card. The Tim Horton’s employee said you have to use their Tim Horton’s refillable app to use a smartphone for payment in their stores.

          2. Actually that card has a mag strip and and EMV RFID – NOT NFC – so you are incorrect. NFC is dynamic so it has to be in a phone or some other device with 2-way communication – your chip only has the same info as your mag strip. The can be read by an NFC reader but it is different tech which is why ApplePay will not work with 2-way NFC disabled.

  8. As I said before, this is not about 2-3% fees. It is about $300 per year. That is how much each customer, with all of their personal data and purchasing history, is worth to these stores.

    My family spent some $1k at various pharmacies (such as Walgreens, Rite-Aid, CVS or over the past year. That means just $20-30 in credit card processing fees, but if they have my purchasing history, they can actually make $300 on sales of my private info to the advertisers. That’s why those fees aren’t really the main element of this whole policy.

  9. “Their aim is to help retailers avoid credit-card transaction fees”

    That is BS because they are still accepting credit cards. The same credit cars that Apple uses.

  10. That the credit card fees and consumer data are only the two most visible parts of the equation. If CurrentC places the liability for fraudulent purchases on the consumer, then there are are even more savings from a risk mitigation point of view. Sure, the system could be hacked (as was shown by a similar system in China), but they wouldn’t have to worry about those costs. My understanding is that the credit card processors are changing their terms to place liability for fraud directly on the merchant if they don’t upgrade their payment systems. The root of the issue comes down to money – how it can be made by data mining, the processing fees and the limit of liability in case of data breaches. Oh, and lets not forget that CurrentC is rumored to require your SSN and Driver’s License number for verification purposes. Very scary stuff to willingly give to a retailer and expect them to keep secure in light of the recent data breaches at several retailers.

  11. While cowardly CVS and Rite-Aid shut off Apple Pay (with Rite-Aid so incompetent that a “we don’t take Apple Pay” message comes up even if you try to pay with Google Wallet), Walgreens terminals proudly display both the Apple Pay and Google Wallet logos. I know where I’m shopping.


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