(USATODAY) — Last Thursday drug store chain Rite Aid Inc. (RAD) reportedly stopped accepting payments made through the just launched Apple Pay system from Apple (AAPL). On Saturday, CVS Health (CVS) was reported to have followed suit at its CVS pharmacy stores.
The issue appears to be a 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.
When Apple announced Apple Pay in early September, both Wal-Mart Stores (WMT) and Best Buy (BBY) said they had no plans to adopt the new system. Both are partners in MCX along with other major retailers like Target (TGT), Darden Restaurants (DRI), and Sears Holdings (SHLD).
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