MCX retailers turn off NFC payments

A Rite Aid POS terminal rejects an Apple Pay transaction
RITE AID: A POS terminal identifies and rejects an attempted Apple Pay transaction

US pharmacy chains Rite Aid and CVS, both members of the MCX retailer-owned consortium which is due to launch its CurrentC mobile payment service in 2015, have stopped accepting NFC payments in the wake of the launch of Apple Pay.

A screenshot of a Rite Aid POS terminal showing that an Apple Pay transaction had been declined was posted by SlashGear on Friday along with what appears to be an internal Rite Aid memo.

“Please note that we do not accept Apple Pay at this time,” the memo reads. “However we are currently working with a group of large retailers to develop a mobile wallet that allows for mobile payments attached to credit cards and bank accounts directly from a smart phone. We expect to have this feature available in the first half of 2015.

“If customers attempt to pay for a transaction with Apple Pay, a message will prompt both customer and cashier for a different form of payment. Please instruct cashiers to apologize to the customer and explain that we do not currently accept Apple Pay, but will have our own mobile wallet next year.”

Rite Aid confirmed the move in a statement to iMore. “Rite Aid does not currently accept Apple Pay,” the merchant said. “We are continually evaluating various forms of mobile payment technologies, and are committed to offering convenient, reliable and secure payment methods that meet the needs of our customers.”

News that CVS had followed Rite Aid first surfaced on Saturday and appeared to be confirmed in a tweet by a CVS shift supervisor, which was spotted by MacRumours.

“At this time, CVS Pharmacy cannot accept Apple Pay or other mobile payments that use NFC technology,” the merchant told NFC World+ today. “We are in the process of evaluating mobile payment options for our customers.”

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