Report: Rite Aid Dumps Apple Pay Days After Launch
After accepting Apple Pay at all of its stores on Oct. 20 — Apple Pay's launch day — Rite Aid apparently stopped its support for the technology yesterday, according to a report yesterday in Mac Rumors.
Apple Pay, the company’s new mobile payment solution that promises to turn your iPhone into a wallet, was announced last month with much fanfare. Currently, there are more than 200,000 merchants, including Bloomingdale’s, Foot Locker, Sports Authority, Whole Foods, and Macy's, that support Apple Pay.
Apple Pay lets users to tap their iPhones (it has to be an iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus) to payment terminals, then touch their device's fingerprint sensor to purchase items. Both the devices and terminals must have near-field communication (NFC) chips that store payment credentials.
According to the Mac Rumors article, Apple Pay should technically be compatible with any point-of-sale systems supporting NFC technology, but Rite Aid customers "who made successful Apple Pay payments earlier this week have found their payments were being denied yesterday and today. According to Twitter, the retailer also unexpectedly turned off support for Google Wallet at the same time.”
One shopper quoted in the Mac Rumors article speculated that the move might have been because Rite Aid was an early supporter of Wal-Mart-backed MCX’s CurrentC and that rival Walgreens is a major Apple Pay supporter. Rite Aid has given marketing support to MCX for years, so it’s unclear how that would explain the reversal, the Mac Rumors article said. However, Rite Aid made the decision to embrace Apple Pay long after it supported MCX.
Rite Aid hasn't confirmed the shut down of these services, nor commented publicly on these reports.
Despite a deployment that was relatively smooth for most consumers and retailers, Rite Aid wasn't the only company that received complaints about Apple Pay from its customers.