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macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

Earlier this week, pharmacy chain Rite Aid shut down unofficial support for the Apple Pay and Google Wallet mobile payments systems, resulting in an outcry from users who have been testing out Apple's new system since its launch on Monday. Rite Aid was not an official Apple Pay partner, but the payments system generally works with existing near field communications (NFC) payment terminals anyway, and many users had had success using Apple Pay at Rite Aid stores early in the week.

It now appears that fellow major pharmacy chain CVS is following suit and as of today is shutting down the NFC functionality of its payment terminals entirely, a move presumably intended to thwart Apple Pay. Google Wallet services are obviously also being affected by the move.

Multiple reports on Twitter and the MacRumors forums have indicated that CVS has sent an email to its stores indicating that NFC support is to be turned off. It is still relatively early in the day in the U.S., but we are now starting to see reports of NFC indeed being turned off at CVS stores.

The reason behind Rite Aid's and CVS's moves to disable unofficial Apple Pay support in their stores is presumably related to their participation in Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX), a retailer group developing its own mobile payments system known as CurrentC. A claimed internal Rite Aid message shared with SlashGear supports this notion, instructing cashiers to explain to customers that Apple Pay is not supported but that MCX's solution will be available next year.

Rite Aid internal memo regarding Apple Pay

Rite Aid's and CVS's moves are also in stark contrast to competitor Walgreens, which has fully embraced Apple Pay and is one of Apple's launch partners for the service. With over 8,000 stores around the United States, Walgreens has been one of the most popular locations for those testing out Apple Pay over the first week of availability.

Article Link: CVS Stores Reportedly Disabling NFC to Shut Down Apple Pay and Google Wallet


macrumors 68040
Sep 11, 2008
New York City
I don't shop there but I suspect some will stop shopping there now, like they did Rite Aid. Just why would you stop money coming into your business?


macrumors 601
Feb 12, 2010
Why the hell would I want to use their mobile wallet versus Apple Pay? I'll go to Walgreens across the street, thanks.


macrumors 68040
Jun 20, 2007
I have been a CVS customer for YEARS. Going to switch to Walgreens. This is ridiculous.


macrumors 68030
Sep 22, 2009
So this is a competition thing now. Completely excluding a form of payment because they want to use their own system.


macrumors 604
Apr 6, 2007
Welp, now I know I'm going to Walgreens whenever i need something from a drugstore.

And for those who insist on saying that "Apple users don't rule the world," that's now what this is about. A payment system of ANY kind cannot work if merchants intentionally to choose to fragment things. This is just as if RiteAid/CVS decided they accept Visa and MasterCard, but ONLY Visas from Bank of America, or Mastercards from CapitalOne. Not because of some inherent issue with the technology, but SOLELY because they decided that they want to impose their own.

Apple doesn't force merchants to not accept other forms of payment. CVS and RiteAid should at least act in good faith and do the same.


macrumors member
Jan 6, 2004
I find it funny that the first nationwide company to support NFC is doing this.


macrumors 601
May 1, 2013
This is bad for Apple, they will have to prove themselves or Apple Pay will be thwarted deliberately. They shouldn't need to disable payment to compete. These are unfair tactics.

And why not "disable" paying with cash and cards as well? Let's all just wait for CurrentC. :rolleyes:
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macrumors 65816
Sep 25, 2003
No surprise here, it was non-functional at CVS here yesterday as I noted. Everyone jumped on me for reporting it...


macrumors 68040
Jun 26, 2009
Burpelson AFB
I'm sure behind the scenes MCX is applying the pressure. Maybe threatening legal action. I'd guess CVS would like to make payment as easy as possible for all its customers.


macrumors regular
Jul 29, 2012
I was walking my dog yesterday and realized that I needed to pick up a birthday card. I didn't bring a wallet, so I walked by a local cvs and used apple pay to purchase. They would have lost this business if not for this technology.


macrumors 6502a
May 20, 2007
I'm assuming it's because they also want to collect data on their customers? I'll gladly shop Walgreens/Duane Reade.


macrumors 68040
Dec 31, 2007
Milwaukee Area
I don't know why every retailer doesn't start their own payment method. Sounds brilliant! Or just start their own bank and demand their customers keep all their money there.

Or better yet, as is traditional in the US, each location have their own currency, and if someone attempts to travel from one town to the next, keep a huge book with exchange rates in it and make them convert their purchase prices themselves.



macrumors newbie
Oct 12, 2011

Such douchebags. Can not use ApplePay but you can use our own sucky service... next year... or maybe the year after.
Sayonara Rite Aid, CVS, you are pissing off some of your wealthiest customers.


macrumors 6502
Jun 1, 2004
And how are customers going to pay using their soon-to-come mobile payment system? By opening up a CVS or CurrentC app? Wow sounds convenient. No thanks.
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