US pharmacies reject Apple Pay

Some US pharmacies have rejected Apple Pay in favour of creating their own mobile payment standard

Some US pharmacies have rejected Apple Pay in favour of creating their own mobile payment standard, according to reports.

An employee at pharmacist CVS commented on Twitter that an internal email notified staff near field communication (NFC) payments would be deactivated in CVS stores. Rite Aid pharmacy has also pulled use of NFC payments.

By turning off NFC payment terminals, stores will no longer be able to accept payment through methods such as Apple Pay or Google Wallet, as well as contactless card transactions.

A representative from CVS said: "At this time, CVS/pharmacy cannot accept Apple Pay or other mobile payments that use NFC technology. We are in the process of evaluating mobile payment options for our customers."

The Apple Pay mobile wallet, which was launched in the US in October 2014, allows iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus users to pay for goods and services using a combination of the mobile wallet and fingerprint authentication. The service has not yet been launched in the UK.

SlashGear has published a leaked internal memo detailing Rite Aid's decision was as a result of the pharmacy working with other retailers to develop its own mobile wallet that functions in a similar manner to Apple Pay.

Rite Aid and CVS are both on the list of US retailers contributing to the development of alternative mobile payments app CurrentC, which is based on quick-response (QR) code. The app has not yet been launched, but is available to download from a number of app stores.  

The popularity of mobile payment methods could depend on their ability to serve a genuine consumer need. According to head of IDC Financial Insights Europe Alex Kwiatkowski, a lot of payment innovations are not taking off because both merchants and consumers don’t see the need for them.

“Just because something is a good idea, or is technologically possible, it doesn’t mean lots of people are going to want to do it,” he said.

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