Apple Pay, the brand new NFC-based mobile payments platform for iPhone and Apple Watch, was introduced earlier this week with a long list of over 220,000 partners including major retailers and credit card issuers. But not all merchants appear willing to sign on.
Don’t get me wrong: it sounds like Apple Pay will be widely adopted in the mobile payments industry. Its existing partners include Macy’s, McDonald’s, Bloomingdale’s, and Whole Food Markets. It will even extend to other countries.
The mobile payment platform, which is in partnership with Visa, MasterCard and American Express, will leverage the over 800 million iTunes accounts that have credit cards on files to offer seamless one-touch payments.
As noted by The Wall Street Journal, however, it appears that two major retailers in Walmart and Best Buy will not be integrating the Apple Pay platform at their stores across the United States and elsewhere.
Best Buy and Wal-Mart are instead backing a retailer-owned mobile technology group called Merchant Customer Exchange, which also counts Target Corp. among its members.
MCX’s payment service requires only a software download and can be used on existing iPhones and Android devices, whereas Apple’s is only for the latest generation handset.
While it does not appear that Walmart and Best Buy are willing to adopt Apple Pay at the present time, the retailers could always opt to upgrade their point-of-sale systems with integration for the mobile payment platform in the future.
Apple Pay is powered by the new NFC chip on the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. The system stores your payment info in an encrypted and secure fashion, with the help of Touch ID and the new A8 chip. The service is also integrated with Passbook, delivers one-touch checkout with no card number entry or typing an address required.
Apple Pay was rolled out at convenient time for merchants, which have to upgrade their point-of-sale systems to support EMV “Chip and PIN” credit cards by October 2015. The EMV technology has been used in Canada and Europe for several years, but the United States is still largely based on swiping a credit card and signing the receipt afterwards.[via MacRumors]