After accepting Apple Pay for the first few days, two major retailers, CVS and Rite Aid, have blocked the mobile payments system.
The theory is that they’re working on their own mobile payments system called CurrentC along with the rest of the Merchant Consumer Exchange (MCX), a consortium of major retailers. CurrentC likely won’t launch until next year.
Even though CVS and Rite Aid both have the special payment pads required to accept Apple Pay, they disabled the functionality over the weekend.
In a statement Monday, CVS confirmed it is no longer accepting Apple Pay and similar mobile payment systems, but only said it was working on an alternative payment system.
In a statement to Business Insider, an Apple spokesperson responded to the brewing battle:
The feedback we are getting from customers and retailers about Apple Pay is overwhelmingly positive and enthusiastic. We are working to get as many merchants as possible to support this convenient, secure and private payment option for consumers. Many retailers have already seen the benefits and are delighting their customers at over 220,000 locations.
That’s a nice way to say that Apple Pay is a hit, and retailers blocking Apple Pay are putting a bigger burden on their customers by removing a handy payment system without providing a good alternative.
According to early reports, MCX’s CurrentC app doesn’t sound as private nor as convenient as Apple Pay.
First, CurrentC uses QR codes that are scanned at registers to make payments. QR codes aren’t very secure because they can easily be captured and put on another device. CurrentC may be able to get around that by requiring you to type in a PIN too. But that’s still not as easy as Apple Pay Apple Pay, which only works in conjunction with the user’s fingerprint. You just tap the phone on a pad and you’re finished.
CurrentC will also likely be used to track purchase history and spending habits, something Apple Pay can’t do. Apple Pay is just as private as using a regular credit card. The only people who know about the purchase are you and your bank.
It sounds like CurrentC will only work with checking accounts after you enter your bank account and routing numbers. It probably won’t work with many major credit cards like Apple Pay can.
Finally, CurrentC probably won’t be available in as many locations as Apple Pay. While Apple Pay isn’t ubiquitous enough to replace your wallet, it will be accepted more places than CurrentC likely will, according to analysis from Business Insider Intelligence.