Rite Aid becomes latest retailer to shut off Apple Pay

Reuters News
Posted: Oct 27, 2014 1:44 PM

CHICAGO (Reuters) - U.S. drugstore chain Rite Aid Corp will ban Apple Inc's new electronic payments service in its 4,572 stores as it commits to joining a consortium of other large retailers developing a rival payments system.

Retailers including Wal-Mart Stores Inc, Target Corp, Kohl's Corp have all refused to accept Apple Pay at their stores.

Apple Pay, which was unveiled in September, is a mobile payment app that allows consumers to buy things by simply holding their iPhone6 and 6 Plus devices up to readers installed by store merchants.

The rival system, called Current C, is being developed by Merchants Customer Exchange (MCX), a consortium of merchants that includes Rite Aid and CVS.

Rite Aid stopped accepting Apple Pay last week. Spokeswoman Ashley Flower said the company is continually evaluating various forms of mobile payment technologies.

On Sunday, the New York Times reported that Rite Aid and CVS Health Corp had refused to accept Apple Pay.(http://nyti.ms/1rJ2RsA) CVS did not immediately respond to queries seeking comment.

"I think these two retailers – Rite Aid and CVS – have committed contractually to MCX," said Nick Holland, senior analyst, payments, Javelin Strategy & Research.

"I believe there was an exclusivity agreement ...which means that as part of the MCX consortium that was your point-of-sale mobile payment network."

(Reporting by Nandita Bose and Nathan Layne in Chicago; Editing by David Gregorio)