CurrentC retailers’ conundrum: MCX contract expressly bars Apple Pay acceptance

“One week after its debut, Apple’s new mobile wallet is showing promise with consumers,” Mike Isaac reports for The New York Times. “Apple’s rivals in the payments industry, meanwhile, are scrambling to prevent it from being too successful.”

“Even before Apple Pay was announced, a coalition of retailers refused to accept it in their stores. More than 50 companies make up this group, the so-called Merchant Customer Exchange or MCX, including global retail giants like Walmart, Best Buy and Gap Inc,” Isaac reports. “The problem is that under the terms of their MCX contractual agreement, they are not supposed to accept competing mobile payments products like Apple Pay, according to multiple retailers involved with MCX, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. If these retailers break their contracts, they will face steep fines for doing so, these people said.”

“Since Apple Pay was introduced a week ago, consumers have tried to use it in MCX members like Rite Aid and CVS. So those businesses have disabled the technology that supports Apple Pay,” Isaac reports. “But the clock is ticking. If Apple Pay becomes a hit, MCX member retailers still waiting on CurrentC to begin could miss out on untold mobile payment transactions. Merchants also risk customer resentment if they continue to refuse Apple Pay. And if Apple Pay catches on, consumers may not be interested in a competing product.”

“‘These retailers are in a real jam,’ said Karen Webster, chief executive of Market Platform Dynamics, a payments industry consulting firm. ‘The last thing merchants want is ticking off their consumers over payment,’ Ms. Webster said,” Isaac reports. “Many say they believe that if any company is able to widely influence consumer behavior, it’s Apple. And if that is the case, MCX may have picked the wrong mobile wallet to back.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Stupid, shortsighted companies sign stupid, shortsighted contracts and they deserve to pay a price for their shortsighted stupidity.

MCX retailers: What’s the steeper price, the business lost from Apple’s well-heeled customers avoiding your stores and making it a point to patronize your competitors or the one-time penalty to get out of your stupid, shortsighted contract for a shitty QR code-based system that is doomed to fail anyway? Hint: It’s the former.

In just one week, Apple Pay has already facilitated more transactions than all other ‘contact less’ payment methods combined! (Which shows how much of a flop Google Wallet is – it 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:
Retailers like CVS and Rite Aid that block Apple Pay are taking a big security risk – October 28, 2014
Apple Pay tussle with CVS, Rite Aid the first shot in mobile payments war – October 28, 2014
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

60 Comments

  1. ApplePay isn’t an exclusive with the vendors it uses. CurrentC is just trying to get data mining on their customers and avoid the 1.5-3% they are charged by credit card companies. If ApplePay is .0015% then why doesn’t CurrentC just add support to ApplePay? CurrentC requires an ID of some sort so why wouldn’t this work. I don’t see Apple not accepting another bank (which is what currentC is basically).

  2. Walmart has enough resources I would think to tell CurrentC or MCX to buy them off and call that impending disaster a day..

    Walmart, may not like Visa has been implied in some articles, they want to save those credit fees, and perhaps some want that customer data, but they are not going to convince users to spend “cash” from their checking account when they want to use a credit card. not to mention trying to scan the QR Code, is going take far longer then swiping a card.

  3. CurrentC is dead in the water. By the time the retailers figure out CurrentC Apple will have already expanded the core basis of ApplePay functionality into other fields – just like Apple is doing with TouchID.

    The functionality of ApplePay isn’t really payment per se; it’s the whole package of technology which enables ApplePay to work. That technology enables other such diverse things as secure building access, Apple Watch, retailer loyalty cards (which can be loaded into Passbook) etc. this will become crystal clear in the next major IPhone and iOS 9 update when these TouchID, Near Field Communication and secure enclave technologies flush out even more.

    I’m not sure Apple could undo “what makes” ApplePay work without great effort – it’s like one of us cutting off an arm or leg. We need our arms and legs to do other things just as the IPhone uses, and in the future expands, the other technology behind ApplePay for other uses.

    A hopeless and untenable position for CurrentC partners. Good luck. I hope the people earning a living working on CurrentC have “current” resumes out. This doesn’t end well for them unfortunately.

  4. If MCX doesn’t allow their stores to accept alternate mobile payment systems, why weren’t they blocking Google Wallet? “Nobody uses it” isn’t an excuse. If you’re not allowed to take it, you’re not allowed to take it.

    This smacks of selective enforcement. I’m guessing MCX got scared when Apple Pay was announced and sent an email to get all its members in line.

    ——RM

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