CAMP HILL, Penn.—Two of the nation’s largest pharmacy/store chains disabled Apple Pay transactions at their stores over the weekend.
Rite Aid and CVS both moved to decline to participate in the new payments solution that allows consumers to pay for purchases using credit cards that are linked to certain iPhones. Rite Aid told The New York Times that it is “evaluating our mobile payment options,” while CVS declined comment to the Times. Many analysts believe, however, that the decisions are related to the companies’ participation in the Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX) consortium, which has been seeking to develop a rival contactless payment channel of their own. At the heart of all the activity are two factors: data about consumer preferences and shopping habits, which can be more valuable than the transaction itself, and per-transaction fees. Merchants involved in MCX, which include some of the largest retailers in the U.S. such as Walmart, are eager to own that data and to reduce those fees.
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