We've been driving towards a contact-less payment system for decades. Almost everyone in our industry has taken a run at it and
most all have come up short, until now.
CVS (and Rite Aid and I'm sure many others to come) fighting Apple Pay as a threat is an incredible amount of validation after only a few days of Apple Pay being available. Put simply: Apple Pay is taking off.
The reason behind Rite Aid's and CVS's moves to disable unofficial Apple Pay support in their stores is presumably related to their participation in Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX), a retailer group developing its own mobile payments system known as CurrentC.
As for the strategy: I fail to see the wisdom in a business strategy of doing what your customers do not want.
Here's a few examples of people reacting to these developments:
Downloaded CurrentC.app to leave a 1 ⭐️ review on it. Here’s the link in case you wanna join me: https://t.co/dZ7lhcpPbP— Javier Soto (@Javi) October 26, 2014
CurrentC had no ratings this morning. Now at 142 ratings, 1 star. Go team. pic.twitter.com/KA66cxCznS— Kiel (@KielO) October 26, 2014
Things gets even worse when you look closer at the details of CurrentC itself:
Just so we're clear: The corporations participating in MCX aren't doing it for money (at least not directly). They are not upset about having to give Apple a 'cut' of their profits. The Apple Pay contracts are set up so that the retailers aren't losing a penny more than they would on standard card transactions. These companies want to track your buying habits and use that information to better target their marketing efforts towards you.
And yes, that is one valid way for a business to increase it's profits. It has been wildly successful for decades of modern consumerism. But things are changing.
Another approach is to provide a service, product, or experience that is so compelling that it alone draws customers in and convinces them to spend their money with your company. Apple has used this technique (among countless others) splendidly over the last 15 years.
These days technology is advancing much faster than marketing executives are changing their tactics. Apple Pay is yet another technology product that is doing the dirty work of dragging parts of the business world into the future.
So far Apple is simply doing what they do best with Apple Pay: delivering customers a fantastic experience and taking measures to satisfy people's possible concerns about the change to a new technology. (In this case security and privacy).
I say 'so far' because I can't help but wonder what a more aggressive Apple might do:
Be kind of funny if Apple pulled CurrentC for duplicating core functionality.— Paul Haddad (@tapbot_paul) October 26, 2014
I guess we'll see.