US retailers blocking Apple Pay to boost alternative payment app

A group of retailers in the USA are shutting out Apple Pay by modifying, and even disabling, their NFC readers.

Top firms like Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Rite Aid, and CVS are all in on the coup to overthrow Apple’s contactless payment system.

The reason behind the corporate aggression is clear – the companies all banded together in 2012 to work on their own payment system.

CurrentC, a joint-venture mobile payment system boasting some of America’s biggest retailers as backers, should be landing next year – in direct competition with Apple Pay.

Both Wal-Mart and Best Buy recently confirmed to the WSJ that they were intentionally barring customers from using Apple’s service in their stores.

Rite Aid, a leading US pharmacy chain, was outed as participating in the block thanks to a leaked memo that suggested it was actually disabling NFC readers.

CVS, another pharmacy, has reportedly also joined the commercial boycott. It’s set to get behind CurrentC as soon as it becomes available in 2015.

While Apple hoped it would revolutionise brick-and-mortar payments across the world, it’s very much struggling to woo retailers.

Its own website lists a mere 34 partners – small arms on the corporate battlefield of America.

Other firms partnered with CurrentC include fast-food chain Wendy’s, 7-eleven, Sears, Gap, Dunkin’ Donuts, and ExxonMobil.

We’re not yet sure whether these companies will be binning off Apple Pay.

It’s not only Apple Pay that’s suffering either, with other contactless payment systems also shunned – Google Wallet included.

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