Mobile-payment retail troublemaker finally learns to embrace Apple Pay, Google Wallet
When the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus landed last year armed with NFC support, retailers started seeing a huge uptick in consumer mobile payment interest, as users tried Apple Pay for the first time. Thanks to the presence of contactless payment chips on existing credit cards, not to mention previous NFC-based mobile payment systems like Google Pay and Softcard, lots of these retailers already had Apple Pay-compatible POS systems in place, so everything should have been ready to go for all these new users to start making payments … until retailers started switching their systems off. Now at least one of those stores that turned its back on mobile payments in the wake of Apple Pay is finally coming around, as Rite Aid announces the return of support for mobile payments.
Rite Aid, like fellow drugstore chain CVS, is part of the MCX consortium, which had been prepping to support its own payment system. While the hardware for mobile payments had been in place in many of its stores prior to the arrival of Apple Pay, the sudden rise in phone-payment popularity drove MCX members to shut things down.
We’re not sure just what’s changed in the nine months since Rite Aid first blocked Apple Pay, but this week it’s flipping its systems back on, welcoming shoppers to pay with their choice of Apple Pay or Google Wallet – and even Android Pay, when Google finally gets that new option rolling. So next time you need to swing by for a new tube of toothpaste, leave your wallet at home, and Rite Aid will be happy to take your payment via smartphone.