Oct 27, 2014 07:07 PM EDT
All is not well with the launch of Apple Pay, Apple's mobile payment solution which launched earlier this month. Both CVS Health Corp. and Rite-Aid Corp. have disabled the ability for Apple Pay to make mobile transactions at the locations of the two drug store giants. Currently, there are 220,000 retail locations in the U.S. that would support Apple Pay and other mobile payment solutions, like Google Wallet or Softcard.
According to Anindya Ghose, a marketing analyst and professor at New York University, this move by Rite-Aid and CVS is the beginning of what could be a long and drawn out battle for control of the mobile payment market space.
"This act by CVS and Rite Aid heralds the advent of the imminent battle in the mobile pay system," said Ghose.
According to the LA Times, representatives of CVS and Rite-Aid have so far declined to comment on the move. CVS has a reported 7,700 retail location in the U.S., and Rite-Aid has 4,750--a sizeable chunk of transactions for Apple to lose.
Apple has taken the blow in stride and is continuing to attempt to align itself with retail partners in order to make the launch of Apple Pay a long-term success.
Apple spokesperson Trudy Muller had this to say, "The feedback we are getting from customers and retailers about Apple Pay is overwhelmingly positive and enthusiastic. We are working to get as many merchants as possible to support this convenient, secure and private payment option."
The reason Rite-Aid and CVS are rejecting Apple Pay is because the mobile payment market is projected to be worth $90 billion as soon as 2017; considering that the market was worth just $12.8 billion in 2012, the potential growth for this sector is truly, mind-bogglingly astronomical, and it's no wonder that everyone from U.S. cell carriers, to Apple & Google, to individual retailers like CVS and Rite-Aid are all attempting to grab as much of that market as they can.
Rite-Aid and CVS are part of a conglomerate including Target, Wal-mart and Lowe's that are attempting to release a rival mobile payment platform to Apple Pay called CurrentC. That's an awful name, by the way. CurrentC is currently in a testing phase in certain U.S. markets, and it is expected to launch sometime next year.
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