CVS Apple Pay rollout in US complete after long struggle with CurrentC

Posted:
in iPhone
U.S. pharmacy chain CVS is now offering Apple Pay nationwide, marking an important adoption milestone for both users and the platform as a whole.

CVS


Shoppers can now tap a compatible iPhone or Apple Watch to pay for medicine and other purchases. Apple first announced in July that CVS would be coming onboard, but at the time said only that the rollout would happen sometime in 2018.

AppleInsider can confirm that a large number of CVS stores were already supporting Apple Pay prior to today, with many coming online days after the announcement -- but not every location may have been ready.

CVS was a longtime holdout, even once its chief rival Walgreens came onboard. This was partly because CVS was one of the backers of CurrentC, a merchant-supported payment platform that ultimately failed to launch. That technology would have avoided splitting transaction fees with firms like Apple, but been notably less convenient, requiring people to pull up an app and scan their phones.

In fact two other CurrentC backers, Target and Walmart, have avoided Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay for their own scanning-based systems. Those retailers are now the biggest Apple Pay holdouts in the U.S. -- a problem since many Americans visit those stores weekly.

CVS is another American staple however, and should boost the visibility and practicality of Apple's technology.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 26
    About time. Actually used Apple Pay at CVS yesterday and it was a breeze. Hopefully more CurrentC hold outs follow suit. Really just need Target & Publix to get on board and I’m pretty much set. 
    netmagekozchrisgilly017ols
  • Reply 2 of 26
    CurrentC had some lofty goals, and the sales pitch seemed like it was going to be great for merchants, but the problem was they were going up against the banks and it wasn't going to be easy for the consumer to use. 

    https://www.applicoinc.com/blog/happened-currentc-platform-innovation-fails/
  • Reply 3 of 26
    payecopayeco Posts: 158member
    Used Apple Pay at a CVS in Manhattan 2 days ago. I assumed the rollout had already been completed since it was working there.
  • Reply 4 of 26
    Too late, I already switched to Walgreens and I’m certainly not going back to CVS with its shady coupons and cardholder-only rebates.
    Also this past week end I was delighted to find out that my Costco accepted ApplePay! Woohoo!
    backstabsweetheart777jbdragonStrangeDaysnetmagekozchrispscooter63
  • Reply 5 of 26
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,392member
    CVS is a big one to finally get onboard. I think we’ll be waiting a long time for Walmart to get its act together. Even my local independent coffee shop accepts Pay. They use a simple Square terminal that does it all.
  • Reply 6 of 26
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 2,882member
    CVS and Target both demonstrated to me that they don't give a damn about me or my private financial information when they chose their own proprietary system over Apple Pay -- and that was after a major hack of Target!

    I won't shop at either since then.   I prefer businesses that respect me and value me and my private information.  

    I'm glad CVS finally acquiesced.   But they already showed me their colors.
    robin hubernetmageols
  • Reply 7 of 26
    Too late, I already switched to Walgreens and I’m certainly not going back to CVS with its shady coupons and cardholder-only rebates.
    Also this past week end I was delighted to find out that my Costco accepted ApplePay! Woohoo!
    Ditto, I switched all my Rx’s from CVS to Rite Aid two years ago when the latter became an early Pay adopter. 
    GeorgeBMac
  • Reply 8 of 26
    sergiozsergioz Posts: 211member
    CVS wanted to have their own monopoly on payments. I knew they were going to fail. All it takes is a small update on a payment terminal, they could have enabled it long time ago! 
  • Reply 9 of 26
    Count me also as someone who swapped to Walgreens because CVS wouldn't accept Apple Pay. Walgreens now has all my prescriptions, so they won't get me back as a customer. Every time I asked at CVS, the managers would give me some line about Apple wanting 30% of the sales price, but when I was ask them how Walgreens can afford it, they would get quiet.
    netmageGeorgeBMac
  • Reply 10 of 26
    Considering Target was already hacked and already compromised their customer credit card data, it should be criminal that they don’t utilize a customer-priority token-based system like AP. 
    netmagepscooter63chiaGeorgeBMac
  • Reply 11 of 26
    rob53rob53 Posts: 1,912member
    Home Depot is the other huge store not taking ApplePay. I believe they sided with some personal information sharing system using PayPal.

    As for Costco, I'm happy they now accept ApplePay but I still need to give them my membership/Citi-Visa card to star the checkout process. They need to have an NFC reader on the entry side of checkout. There's now no reason for them to have to actually touch my membership card. I have seen some kind of NFC reader on their gas pumps but they don't work with ApplePay. If soda machines can accept ApplePay, gas pumps can as well. I use my Costco Citi Visa for most ApplePay transactions so it should also be capable of being used to verify my membership status.
    pscooter63kudu
  • Reply 12 of 26
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 1,858member
    CurrentC had some lofty goals, and the sales pitch seemed like it was going to be great for merchants, but the problem was they were going up against the banks and it wasn't going to be easy for the consumer to use. 

    https://www.applicoinc.com/blog/happened-currentc-platform-innovation-fails/
    CurrectC has the benefit of taking money directly out of a persons checking account. To get around the 3% credit card transaction fee. That's great for them. But it sucks for customers. Because having direct access to your checking account using a ACH Payments, you don't have all the protections you would otherwise have using a Credit Card. Also the fact that you have to open up your phone, find and load a app for the store, and do the whole QR code scan thing is a hassle when Apple Pay is just so much faster. Who wants a bunch of business apps that you have to enter all your payment info into and then every time you go to that store, you now have to load that store app up so you can pay using QR codes.

    I get the advantage of it. You don't need a phone with NFC, as in cheaper, lower cost phones. You just need a phone with a camera.

    As for Wal-Mart, they are NOT going to stop using CurrentC anytime soon. The whole point for them is to hold onto that 3% as it's a lot of money with all their transactions and stores. How many people actually use it? Is there really any benefit going through all that trouble to use their App and pay with CurrentC? To me, at that point, it's simpler to just swipe my card. So they're not really saving themselves a whole lot of money. Maybe it's losing them money to have this setup? They are on the losing side.
    edited October 11 libertykrsnetmagepscooter63JWSCGeorgeBMac
  • Reply 13 of 26
    lkrupp said:
    CVS is a big one to finally get onboard. I think we’ll be waiting a long time for Walmart to get its act together. Even my local independent coffee shop accepts Pay. They use a simple Square terminal that does it all.
    Heck. I set up a small booth at the local swap meet and I even accept ApplePay
    pscooter63chiakudu
  • Reply 14 of 26
    sergioz said:
    CVS wanted to have their own monopoly on payments. I knew they were going to fail. All it takes is a small update on a payment terminal, they could have enabled it long time ago! 

    Actually when stores switched over to the new credit card readers, Apple Pay was working at CVS for a time (Target and Home Depot too...I know because I used it at all three), but they choose to shut that feature off.
    chiaJWSCtokyojimuGeorgeBMac
  • Reply 15 of 26
    I wonder now that Apple will allow third party to access its NFC chip, will CurrectC use it?........
  • Reply 16 of 26
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 2,145member
    ocmikem said:
    lkrupp said:
    CVS is a big one to finally get onboard. I think we’ll be waiting a long time for Walmart to get its act together. Even my local independent coffee shop accepts Pay. They use a simple Square terminal that does it all.
    Heck. I set up a small booth at the local swap meet and I even accept ApplePay
    I get cranky at Safeway when their terminals fail. They adopted about a year ago, and I was thrilled. But their vendor system works about 80% of the time. Last time I was there, I was paying with my Apple Watch, and lady behind me in line was intrigued and fascinated. Then the reader failed. I said, quite loudly in fact, "it is because SAFEWAY's implementation of great technology is terrible. This works flawless everywhere else, like TRADER JOES and WALGREENS so I can rely on GOOD CUSTOMER SERVICE." 
    GeorgeBMacsweetheart777kudu
  • Reply 17 of 26
    Finally. I have 8 CVSs within a mile of me. The closest Walgreens is 5 miles away.

    Target? Your turn...
  • Reply 18 of 26
    Is there a way to have it automatically provide your CVS loyalty number?  Unfortunately, half the stuff CVS sells is discounted only when you provide your number, so I have to tell or type in (depending on the preference of the teller, for some reason) my phone number with every checkout.
  • Reply 19 of 26
    So, does anyone know if ApplePay now works at a CVS pharmacy inside of a Target store?
  • Reply 20 of 26
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 2,882member
    Considering Target was already hacked and already compromised their customer credit card data, it should be criminal that they don’t utilize a customer-priority token-based system like AP. 
    That's why I stopped shopping there.   After the hack I wondered how seriously they took protecting my private data.   When they refused ApplePay, I knew the answer.
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