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USA Today reports that CVS and Rite Aid over the weekend disabled their ability to accept payments via the Apple Pay mobile payment system.

According to the story, "the conflict between Apple Pay and a mobile payment system called CurrentC that is being developed by a retailer-owned mobile technology outfit called Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX). Unlike Apple Pay, CurrentC does not use an NFC chip, but instead generates a QR code that is displayed on the merchant's checkout terminal. Customers who have already linked their bank accounts to the CurrentC system scan the QR code from the terminal and the transaction is completed."

And, the New York Times writes that "analysts said disabling acceptance of Apple Pay was a way to favor a rival system that is not yet available but is being developed by a consortium of merchants known as Merchant Customer Exchange, or MCX. Rite Aid and CVS are part of that consortium, not part of the group of retailers that had teamed up with Apple on its payment system. Nonetheless, over the week, Apple Pay technology was working in Rite Aid and CVS stores."

Among the companies partnering in MCX are Walmart, Best Buy, Target, Darden, and Sears.

The Times also reports that while Apple has not released data on how popular its new product is, "on Apple Pay’s first day, at Chase banking services seven times more people added Chase credit cards to Apple Pay than signed up for new credit cards."
KC's View:
There is going to be a lot of maneuvering and posturing, but at the end of the day what is going to matter is what systems consumers prefer. If Apple Pay is a winner, it will not behoove retailers not to enable it in their stores. Simple as that.