Merchants Blocking Apple Pay to Make Room for Their Own System

When Apple recently revealed their Apple Pay mobile payment system, even Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates was enthusiastic about it, heaping praise upon what he referred to as a “real contribution.” Unfortunately, that excitement isn’t unanimous, and it looks like Apple is going to be fighting an uphill battle when it comes to several merchants.

There’s another mobile payment app set to launch, CurrentC, and it’s set to be a direct competitor with Apple Pay. The problem is that CurrentC is being developed by the very retailers that Apple is hoping to do business with. Walmart, Kmart, 7-Eleven, and Best Buy – just to name a few – are all behind the development of CurrentC, so it makes no sense for them to choose Apple Pay over their very own product. Several of these stores have already stopped supporting Apple Pay, with Rite Aid going so far as to disable their NFC readers completely.

The merchants, on the other hand, have to worry about the banks.The banks support Apple Pay, because it encourages consumers to use their credit cards. Meanwhile, CurrentC is doing the opposite and trying to cut out credit cards completely by letting consumers pay directly from their checking accounts, so as of now they have no support from the banks.

So on one side you have Apple Pay, supported by Apple and the banks, and on the other side you have CurrentC, supported by Wal-Mart, Gap, Old Navy, Sears, Kohls, Banana Republic, and so many more, including almost all of the major US gas station chains.

Someone has to buckle. There has to be a compromise at some point. Right now it seems like the merchants have the upper hand, because they have no obligation to use Apple Pay and CurrentC is just right around the corner, but I’m far from an analyst and I’m just as curious as everyone else to see how this plays out.


via The Verge

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