Apple Pay Blocked At Two Major US Chains

mobile payments, fintech

CVS Health and Rite Aid disable Apple’s payment technology in their stores

Two major US drug store chains have confirmed that they will not be allowing customers to use Apple Pay to pay for their purchases.

CVS and Rite Aid, which have around 8,000 stores across the United States between them, have officially disabled Apple Pay from working at their stores nationwide, although neither company would provide a complete reason for the change.

A spokeswoman for Rite Aid said that the company “does not currently accept Apple Pay”, adding that the company was “still in the process of evaluating mobile payment options.” CVS has not yet commented on the news.

Apple declined to comment on the actions from both stores.


Apple’s entry into the mobile payments space was announced last month alongside the company’s latest smartphone and first smartwatch, the Apple Watch, both of which will support Apple Pay. The service finally went live in the US last week, with Apple saying over 500 banks and 220,000 shops pledging their support.

However, this did not include either Best Buy or Wal-Mart, two other major US retail chains which Apple confirmed would also not be supporting Apple Pay.

Both CVS and Rite Aid were also not in this initial group, instead appearing to pledge their support to a competing system that is being developed by Merchants Customer Exchange (MCX). Its CurrentC product, which should be available by early next year, takes the form of an app that scans the bar code of the product and initiates the payment transfer by connecting to the customer’s debit card.

It has so far attracted support from a wide number of retailers, including Gap, Kmart and 7-Eleven, but crucially has yet had no backing from any major banks.

Apple Pay uses Near Field Communication (NFC) technology, which has been built into the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, and uses the Touch ID fingerprint sensor to verify a card user’s identity. The phone is tapped on a compatible reader and a vibration informs the user if the payment has been successful.

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