U.S. drugstore chain Rite Aid Corp will ban Apple Inc’s new electronic payments service in its 4,572 stores as it commits to joining a consortium of other large retailers developing a rival payments system.
Apple Pay, which was unveiled in September, is a mobile payment app that allows consumers to buy things by simply holding their iPhone6 and 6 Plus devices up to readers installed by store merchants.
A Rite Aid spokeswoman told the New York Times that the company does not currently accept Apple Pay. The company is “still in the process of evaluating our mobile payment options.”
Rite Aid and CVS are not part of the group of retailers that had teamed up with Apple on its payment system. However, Apple Pay technology was working in Rite Aid and CVS stores over the week, the newspaper said.
The reason for the disabling was not immediately clear, the newspaper said.
According to analysts, disabling the acceptance of Apple Pay is a way to support a rival system that is being developed by Merchants Customer Exchange (MCX), a consortium of merchants that includes Rite Aid and CVS, the NYT reported.
MCX is developing CurrentC, an app that scans the bar code of the product and initiates the payment transfer by connecting to the customer’s debit card, according to MCX’s website. CurrentC will not be available until 2015.
Apple, Rite Aid and CVS could not be immediately reached for comments outside regular U.S. business hours.