CVS joins Rite Aid in blocking Apple Pay in "CurrentC" plan to collect more customer data

Posted:
in iPhone edited November 2015
Two major U.S. drugstores have turned off their NFC payment terminals to stop Apple Pay transactions in an effort to make their own "CurrentC" app-based payment system--which is designed to collect and track information on their customers--the only option, even though it's not actually finished yet.

CurrentC app


U.S. drugstore chains CVS and Rite Aid initially supported Apple Pay--at least unofficially--because both chains had installed NFC payment terminals years ago to work with Google Wallet and other specially designed credit cards supporting NFC tap-to-pay transactions. Google's NFC-based Wallet never took off however.

When Apple launched iOS 8.1 with Apple Pay support earlier this month, customers found that iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus could not only make NFC purchases among Apple's launch partners (including Walgreens, McDonalds, Whole Foods, Macys and a couple dozen other major retailers and restaurants) but also at virtually any existing NFC payment terminal, including the thousands of locations set up by Google Wallet years ago. A series of retailers are opposed to the success of Apple Pay because the new system keeps user's transactions private and doesn't collect or track their purchasing history, providing the store with little more than the funds to cover the sale

However, a series of retailers are opposed to the success of Apple Pay because the new system keeps user's transactions private and doesn't collect or track their purchasing history, providing the store with little more than the funds to cover the sale.

Some retailers, including Best Buy, appear to have removed their NFC terminals, while CVS and Rite Aid have turned them off to disable customers from using Apple Pay (turning off NFC also prevents Google Wallet from working).

CVS and Rite Aid belong to a consortium of retailers, led by Walmart, Best Buy, Kmart and 7 Eleven, that has been working since 2012 on CurrentC, a plan to enable payments through a mobile app. Rather than replicating Apple Pay's "fingerprint and tap," the CurrentC app for iOS and Android will require users to launch the app at checkout. The app will then produce a QR bar code that retailers have to scan.

Similar to Google's newer version of Wallet using Host Card Emulation rather than a Secure Element, CurrentC will also require users to have data service while using the app. Apple Pay does not.

Can't wait for the mobile payments app from the company that designed this receipt. pic.twitter.com/nBLbBs7Z4U

— Dan Frommer (@fromedome)


The CurrentC app is already available to download from the iOS App Store, although its description notes "CurrentC is invite-only at the moment. But sign up, and we'll put you on the list!" The app currently has no user reviews.

The app description states that "with CurrentC you'll be able to use your phone to pay for things through your checking account, and select merchant gift cards, credit and debit accounts. Add your existing merchant program rewards accounts and you'll continue earning loyalty points and rewards with every purchase. It'll help you keep track of all your receipts and make returns easier. And in the not-so-distant future, it'll even carry all your coupons and deliver exclusive offers to help you save.

"CurrentC processes every transaction across multiple secure checkpoints--each meeting or exceeding industry security standards. Sensitive financial data is never stored on your phone or shared during a merchant transaction--so you can pay with peace of mind."

Rather than working with users' existing credit cards, the QR code will debit the user's checking account or a configured gift card or cards issued under the program. Apple Pay was expressly designed to work with existing banks and accounts in order to allow users to continue to earn the reward points, airline miles or other perks they already do.

Additionally, a series of major retailers have reported massive leaks of customer data and account information, creating poor timing for CurrentC's launch with assurances that "you can pay with peace of mind," given that users' transaction data will be collected and stored by the retailers' consortium.

CurrentC hopes to have its barcode app ready to use by early next year. But some of its partners are blocking already Apple Pay in the hope that users will set up new accounts to continue shopping with them. In addition to gaining access to more data on their customers, CurrentC also wants to avoid the transaction costs of conventional credit cards by directly making payments that bypass banks.

Addressing the subject, John Gruber of Daring Fireball wrote, "I don't know that CVS and Rite Aid disabling Apple Pay out of spite is going to drive customers to switch pharmacies (Walgreens is an Apple Pay partner), but I do know that CurrentC is unlikely to ever gain any traction whatsoever."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 502
    Slimeball retailers, all of them.
  • Reply 2 of 502

    Excuse me, but I have to go move my prescriptions to Walgreen’s.

  • Reply 3 of 502

    I would not mind any of them disappearing from the face of the earth, especially walmart.

  • Reply 4 of 502
    chickchick Posts: 35member
    Walgreens here I come. I wonder how many people will take action to avoid retailers who block Apple pay.
  • Reply 5 of 502
    chick wrote: »
    Walgreens here I come. I wonder how many people will take action to avoid retailers who block Apple pay.

    The funny thing is that most of the companies involved in MCX are failing badly. Sears, Olive Garden, Best Buy...it's like they don't want to make money.

    And I'll certainly take action to avoid retailers that block it. Not supporting it is one thing, actively fighting it is another.
  • Reply 6 of 502
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 9,233member

    And somebody dared to call me insane for vocally opposing this?

     

    Screw both CVS and Rite-Aid! They deserve to go out of business! I hope that they do and that thousands of jobs are lost!

     

    Who in their right mind wants to use their crappy and not secure payment systems!

     

    I do not trust any crappy retailer! Just look at all of the hack attacks and security breaches that have been happening to various retailers!

     

    I do not want any of these places to have access to any of my info! GTFO!

     

    Apple users who have the choice will simply take their business elsewhere!

     

    Kiss my ass CVS and Rite-Aid!

     

    Boycotting goes both ways, and two can play at that game! We'll see who comes out on top! Hint: It wont be them and their laughable payment system!

  • Reply 8 of 502
    plovellplovell Posts: 818member

    The killer for me is that these CurrentC folks want DIRECT ACCESS to my BANK ACCOUNT !!

     

    You can't use a credit card. 

     

    So, they want me to give them all my personal data, to have and to hold on systems with who-knows-what security, and also let them pull money directly from my bank !!

     

    There's a good reason I never use a debit card in stores. Only at a bank ATM. It's the same reason that says that this direct-access plan is stupid.

  • Reply 9 of 502
    thrangthrang Posts: 892member
    Used at Walgreen's the other day, and today at Bloomingdales - worked great...

    Now to get rid of the other nonsense for frequent shopper phone number, signing the display. Receipts should be stored digitally in the phone as well
  • Reply 10 of 502
    A comprehensive list of Merchant Customer Exchange members:

    [LIST]
    [*] 7Eleven
    [*] 76
    [*] Acme Fresh Market
    [*] Alon
    [*] Bahama Breeze
    [*] Banana Republic
    [*] Baskin Robbins
    [*] Bed Bath & Beyond
    [*] Best Buy
    [*] Buy Buy Baby
    [*] The Capital Grille
    [*] Christmas Tree Shops
    [*] Chilis
    [*] Circle K
    [*] Conoco
    [*] CVS/pharmacy
    [*] Dick's Sporting Goods
    [*] Dillards
    [*] Dunkin Donuts
    [*] Eddie V's Prime Seafood
    [*] ExxonMobile
    [*] Face Values
    [*] Gap
    [*] GetGo from Giant Eagle
    [*] Giant Eagle
    [*] HMS Host
    [*] Hobby Lobby
    [*] HyVee
    [*] Kmart
    [*] Kohl's
    [*] Kum n Go
    [*] Longhorn Steakhouse
    [*] Lowe's
    [*] Maggiano's Little Italy
    [*] Meijer
    [*] Michaels
    [*] My Goods Market
    [*] Old Navy
    [*] Olive Garden
    [*] Philips66
    [*] PriceRite
    [*] Publix
    [*] QuikTrip
    [*] RaceTrac
    [*] RiteAid
    [*] Sam's Club
    [*] Sears
    [*] Seasons Fresh Grill
    [*] Sheetz
    [*] Shell
    [*] ShopRite
    [*] Southwest Airlines
    [*] Sunoco
    [*] Target
    [*] Walmart
    [*] Wawa
    [*] Wendy's
    [*] Yardhouse
    [/LIST]


    Any merchants that accept ApplePay or NFC will retain me as a customer. Companies that actively prohibit the use of NFC will not see another dollar from me:

    Best Buy
    CVS/pharmacy
    RiteAid
    Walmart
  • Reply 11 of 502
    plovellplovell Posts: 818member

    p.s.  and their action just now also killed PayPass/paywave transactions too as those rely on NFC.

     

    How stupid can you get, when your "even better" system is not yet available.

  • Reply 12 of 502
    I will be one of those... Is Kroger pharmacy Apple Pay enabled?
  • Reply 13 of 502
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,317member
    What a fucking perfect example of a disconnected, ass-backwards, consumer hating decision. I mean, you REALLY need to have your head stuck up so far u your ass to make an executive decision like this.

    Let's take a look at this payment process (coming in the future!)

    1. Unlock your phone
    2. Find the app
    3. Launch the app
    4. Point your QR code at a scanner, in a very specific position
    5. Wait

    Oh, and it needs access to your checking account. Yeah, this is gonna take off. Apple Pay has nothing on this. Where the **** do I sign up??
  • Reply 14 of 502
    ibeamibeam Posts: 322member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by thrang View Post



    Used at Walgreen's the other day, and today at Bloomingdales - worked great...



    Now to get rid of the other nonsense for frequent shopper phone number, signing the display. Receipts should be stored digitally in the phone as well

    Sure it might be an easy place to store receipts but you'll just need to print them out later to get your taxes done.

  • Reply 15 of 502

    I will be moving my business to Walgreens now. I have been using the CVS near my house for 5 years but the Walgreens is just as close.

  • Reply 16 of 502
    Originally Posted by ibeam View Post

    Sure it might be an easy place to store receipts but you'll just need to print them out later to get your taxes done.

     

    Ask your boss to pay you less. You’re not doing a good enough job trolling here.

  • Reply 17 of 502
    nofeernofeer Posts: 2,422member

    this makes no sense

    there is already push for for nfc type credit cards and chip and pin coming soon

     

    people want MORE SECURE PAYMENTS

     

    as more and more breaking occur people won't go to those that DON'T RESPECT SECURITY

    its also a huge risk as consumers come into the Christmas buying season

    do you think i shop at Target, HomeDepot etc???

     

    consumers make the payments to make the money for the stores

    those stores like CVS can do whatever but they don't buy their stuff

    WE DO

     

    i wish apple made a way for my 5s to work with their secure system

    also all those stores creating barriers also display   visa master card    american express  WELCOMED HERE

     

    the war is ON!!!!!

     

    also   --look at all the negative attention their stores are getting as we move to the biggest buying season of the year

    I guess CVS and the like make soooooo much money they don't need apple pay

     

    they are fighting a loosing battle     something like 60 million buyers are getting 6 and 6+   so delete those consumers from your roster

    using apple pay supports the company that creates our treasured products

     

    gee CVS take a look at the typical apple buyer----they spend the bucks but not at your place 

     

    delicious irony if they get hacked aka target.  wow that will change their tune probably lose some ceo over this

  • Reply 18 of 502
    ibeamibeam Posts: 322member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

     

     

    Ask your boss to pay you less. You’re not doing a good enough job trolling here.


    Remember that computers were going to create a paperless office? Thirty years of personal computing has killed more trees than any invention in the history of man. Ideally we should get both a digital copy of the receipt as well as a small piece of paper, rather than a full sheet 8.5 x 11 for each receipt you need to print out later. Not to mention the hassle of finding an AirPrint printer or emailing to your desktop and paying for the ink and paper.

  • Reply 19 of 502
    I don't see anyone getting rid of their credit cards anytime soon. That would mean giving up their points or cash back options you get with them. ApplePay is definitely the best option for the 21st century so far.
  • Reply 20 of 502
    Originally Posted by ibeam View Post

    Remember that computers were going to create a paperless office? Thirty years of personal computing has killed more trees than any invention in the history of man. Ideally we should get both a digital copy of the receipt as well as a small piece of paper, rather than a full sheet 8.5 x 11 for each receipt you need to print out later.



    Just shut up and go away.

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