Apple Pay has been off to a great start with over 1 million activations in the first 72 hours of its launch. However, some of the big retailers such as Walmart have decided not to support Apple Pay, or in case of Rite Aid and CVS block access to it, because they plan to use a competing mobile payment service from the Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX) called CurrentC.
Walmart has now issued a statement to Business Insider justifying their decision:
There are certainly a lot of compelling technologies being developed, which is great for the mobile-commerce industry as a whole. Ultimately, what matters is that consumers have a payment option that is widely accepted, secure and developed with their best interests in mind. MCX member merchants already collectively serve a majority of Americans every day. MCX’s members believe merchants are in the best position to provide a mobile solution because of their deep insights into their customers’ shopping and buying experiences.
That’s the most ridiculous reason I’ve heard. In fact, it would have been better if they hadn’t come out with a statement justifying their decision. The only reason Walmart and other retailers want to support CurrentC is because it will reduce transaction costs for them. It also allows them to track the shopping habits of their customers, which in turn will allow them to provide them with better targeted deals, in-store experience and more. So it has nothing to do with looking after the interests of the customer, they want to reduce their costs at the cost of making their customers the “product”.
As previously outlined, CurrentC does not appear to be as secure or easy as Apple Pay, even if it does support more devices by not being beholden to NFC or Bluetooth LE technologies. Furthermore, CurrentC is currently only in beta testing, and is scheduled to have a public launch sometime in 2015. If they were really thinking about their customers then they would have given them the choice of using Apple Pay or CurrentC.
If Walmart had come out and said that they were bound by contractual obligations, then I think customers would be accepted it, but making it sound that they’re doing this for customers is just ridiculous, and shameless. We’ve already seen several readers deciding to boycott retailers like Ride Aid and CVS for their decision to block Apple Pay. Walmart and other retailers should not underestimate the power of the customers to vote with their wallet by going and shopping elsewhere.
Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.