US retailers refuse to use Apple Pay in favor of own payment system
The newly launched payment system Apple Pay, aimed to become the leading payment platform in the US, is facing increasing pressure from leading US retailers. Kmart, Wallmart, Best Buy and other leading merchants formed an alliance in 2012 to create their own system for mobile payments. Named CurrentC, it is expected to launch in 2015 and until the launch these retailers are not going to support Apple Pay.
Some of the biggest retailers in the US, Wallmart and BestBuy, confirmed for the Wall Street Journal that their customers cannot use the solution provided by Apple. The drug store Rite Aid and CVS have disabled their NFC readers to block Apple Pay and other payment solutions until launching their own CurrentC system next year.
While the war for establishing a payment solution in the stores is ongoing, most US banks already adopted Apple Pay. As a contrast, only 34 merchants have agreed to accept Apple Pay but this number includes Apple itself and eight branches of Foot Locker. On the other hand, CurrentC is not currently backed by any US bank, so for now it seems it will be adopted only by retailers.
CurrentC is not a replacement for the credit card. Instead the service will use QR codes which customers scan so the app automatically withdraw the amount from the checking account. The idea is to cut credit card transaction fees as customers will skip the card checkout in favor of direct withdrawal.
Source: The Verge