Retailers Blocking NFC Payment

Just when we thought mobile payments and NFC would catch on because of Apple Pay, retailers have begun banning the technology.

Both CVS and Rite Aid have disabled the NFC payment options on store terminals, forcing customers to pay by cash or credit card.

“Rite Aid does not currently accept Apple Pay. We are continually evaluating various forms of mobile payment technologies, and are committed to offering convenient, reliable and secure payment methods that meet the needs of our customers,” they stated.

Mastercard is disappointed that these stores have blocked customers from using mobile payment, and they are currently investigating as to whether or not disabling NFC breaches their retailer card acceptance guidelines. However, Visa’s contracts allows for the acceptance of NFC to be at the sole discretion of the retailer.

CVS and Rite Aid haven’t explained their motives in not accepting NFC payments, but suspiciously enough, both companies are partners in a soon-to-launch rival payment system—CurrentC.

CurrentC offers retailers full control and users must create an account which will then show a barcode on their mobile phone that is scanned by the cashier at checkout. Clearly, this system isn’t nearly as sophisticated as Apple Pay or Google Wallet.

After years of waiting and speculating when mobile, NFC-based payment would finally be widely accepted, it’s disheartening to hear that retailers are trying to control the situation. NFC and cashless purchasing are the future—why not embrace it?

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