It looks like the newly launched Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s Apple Pay will face major hurdles in getting accepted as a mobile payment payment in many US retailers.
According to a report by The Verge, retail heavyweights such as Wal-Mart, Kmart, 7-Eleven, and Best Buy, Rite Aid and CVS have made modifications to disable NFC readers in their stores to block Apple Pay and other mobile payment systems such as Google Wallet.
The verge also said that Wal-Mart and Best Buy have confirmed to the Wall Street Journal that customers won’t be able to use Apple Pay in their retails stores.
This move by the heavyweight retailers comes ahead of their own mobile payment solution. They have formed a joint venture in 2012 to build their own mobile payment app called CurrentC which is expected to be unveiled next year.
By using their own payment system, the retailers will be able reduce credit card fees as a joined force. for mobile payment, they could use their own payment cards or prepaid cards.
CurrentC does not use NFC, instead it uses Quick Response Code (QR Code) and consumers payments will be withdrawn from their bank accounts directly. CurrentC enjoys the backing and support of major US retailers which up to now has some 110,000 merchant locations signed up across the US.
Apple Pay vs CurrentC
By blocking Apple Pay and using their own payment system free of credit card fees, retailers view it as a win situation for them. This has enticed many retailers to jump on the bandwagon, beside Wal-Mart, GAP, 7-Eleven, Old Navy, Kohls, Lowes, Dunkin’ Donuts and the list goes on.
Credit card companies and banks have approved Apple Pay due to the fact that it will increase the number of purchases made by consumers. Apple on the other hand is having difficulties signing up retailers who for the obvious reason prefer CurrentC over Apple pay. Not a lot of merchants really signed up for Apple Pay whereas there are roughly 110,000 merchants signed up for CurrentC. Think of it as retailers supporting retailers. At the same time, no bank supports CurrentC, Apple Pay got the backing of major banks.
The battle ground who will control the mobile payment market is filling up quickly and at the moment, it’s wait and see for CurrentC to prove itself in this space, but don’t be surprised to see more retailers join in. Ultimately, I think retailers will be forced to accept Apple Pay and some deal between them and the banks and credit card companies will most likely be agreed upon as a result.