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CVS Pharmacy Now Accepting Apple Pay in Stores

CVS Pharmacy has officially launched support for Apple Pay nationwide this week, a few months after Apple CEO Tim Cook confirmed that the retailer would be accepting Apple Pay later in the year. CVS has been gradually rolling out support for Apple Pay at its stores in recent weeks, and now it appears to be officially complete. Using Apple Pay, CVS customers can now pay for their items on compatible iPhones and Apple Watches, by placing the devices close to a near field communication (NFC) payment terminal at checkout. In a marketing email being sent out to customers, Apple encourages shoppers to check out at CVS with its mobile wallet: Get your essentials in a flash. Buying snacks, vitamins, personal care, and prescriptions from CVS Pharmacy just got faster and more secure. At the launch of Apple Pay in 2014, CVS disabled NFC payment terminals at some of its locations in order to stop the use of Apple Pay. A few years later, the company debuted "CVS Pay," which used a barcode-based system to allow customers to check out using their smartphone and the CVS Pharmacy app. Now that CVS has turned around and rolled out Apple Pay support, there are just a few remaining large retail chains refraining from supporting Apple's mobile wallet. This includes Target, which previously said it has no plans to accept Apple Pay in its stores and instead launched a "Wallet" feature in the Target iOS app, allowing customers to pay for their groceries and other items with their smartphone at checkout. Another is Walmart, which has followed a similar trajectory as Target: the company

CVS Launches Barcode-Based 'CVS Pay' in Lieu of Apple Pay

Apple Pay holdout CVS today introduced CVS Pay, a new barcode-based mobile payment solution that integrates payment, prescription pickup, and its ExtraCare loyalty program into a single scan at checkout. CVS Pay is built into the newly updated CVS Pharmacy app for iOS and Android devices. CVS Pay works with all major U.S. credit cards, including MasterCard, Visa, Discover, and American Express, in addition to debit, Health Savings Account, and Flexible Spending Account cards. All verifications for prescriptions and payment like a signature or PIN occur within the CVS Pharmacy app. After adding their credit or debit cards to the app, customers can show the store associate a barcode, or pickup number at drive-thru locations, to initiate payment. The associate will scan the barcode, ring up the purchases, let the customer choose a stored payment method, and then process the payment. CVS Pay is the pharmacy chain's first official mobile payments solution. CVS officially disabled Apple Pay shortly following its U.S. launch, prompting a response from Apple and even a potential class action lawsuit. At the time, CVS was committed to MCX and its indefinitely postponed payments solution CurrentC. CVS Pay launches today in select markets, including New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware, and a nationwide rollout to its over 9,600 pharmacy locations in the U.S. is expected to begin later this year. CVS Pharmacy is free on the App Store [Direct Link] for iPhone, with a companion Apple Watch app available. Top Image: CVS Health via Fortune

Law Firm Investigating Potential for Class Action Suit Against Rite Aid and CVS for Blocking Apple Pay

Law firm Schubert Jonckheer & Kolbe, specializing in class action lawsuits, has announced that it has launched an antitrust investigation into CVS and Rite Aid over their decision to stop accepting Apple Pay in their retail stores. The firm says that it is looking into a potential class action lawsuit that would aim to restore Apple Pay at CVS and Rite Aid stores, and it is currently asking to speak with consumers who may have been affected by the stores' decision to stop offering the payment method.In light of this situation, Schubert Jonckheer & Kolbe is investigating whether CVS and Rite Aid violated the antitrust laws by banding together with other MCX members in a decision to boycott other payments systems, including Apple Pay. Consumers with phones that support Apple Pay may be able to participate in a class action to restore the service at CVS and Rite Aid retail stores.Both Rite Aid and CVS stopped accepting Apple Pay just over a week ago, disabling the NFC capabilities of their payment terminals to prevent it from being used. Rite Aid and CVS are both members of the Merchant Customer Exchange or MCX, a consortium of retailers developing their own barcode-based payment system called CurrentC. MCX has confirmed that all of its retail members, including CVS and Rite Aid, are subject to exclusivity agreements that prevent them from accepting alternate forms of payment, but all MCX members are free to leave the group at any time. Merchants may be reluctant to do so, however, as many have likely invested significant resources into the creation of CurrentC.

Apple Responds to CVS/Rite Aid Controversy: 'Overwhelmingly Positive' Response, Working to Add Merchants

Last week, news surfaced that popular drugstore Rite Aid was disabling support for NFC and Apple Pay in its retail stores and over the weekend, CVS followed in its footsteps. Apple has now commented on the situation, telling Business Insider that it's working to get as many merchants on board with Apple Pay as it can.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 for consumers. Many retailers have already seen the benefits and are delighting their customers at over 220,000 locations.Both CVS and Rite Aid are members of Merchant Customer Exchange or MCX, a team of retailers that are designing their own payments system to compete with Apple Pay. Headed up by Walmart, which has also publicly stated that it won't be supporting Apple Pay, MCX is composed of several different retail outlets and restaurants, including Best Buy, Lowe's, Old Navy, Southwest, Target, 7 Eleven, Dunkin Donuts, Hobby Lobby, and more. MCX's payment solution, CurrentC, is currently in testing in Minnesota and takes a decidedly different approach to mobile payments. CurrentC does not use NFC, instead basing payments around the scanning of QR codes with a smartphone camera. CurrentC is highly beneficial to merchants, but appears to be of questionable value to customers given that it requires both a social security number and a driver's license number, along with access to a bank account. Despite only being

CVS and Rite Aid Officially Disable Apple Pay Support At Stores Nationwide

Last week, multiple reports indicated that pharmacy chains CVS and Rite Aid were disabling near field communications (NFC) payment terminals at some of their locations in order to stop the use of Apple Pay. Now, The New York Times reports that both drug chains have officially disabled Apple Pay from working at their stores nationwide. A spokeswoman for Rite Aid said that the company "does not currently accept Apple Pay" and that the company was "still in the process of evaluating mobile payment options." Representatives from CVS did not respond to interview requests from The New York Times. Apple declined to comment on the actions from both stores. However, chief emerging payments officer at MasterCard Ed McLaughlin said that "consumers should have the ability to pay any way they want" and that the company "looks forward to [CVS and Rite Aid] turning on the functionality back on in their stores." Many believe that Rite Aid's and CVS's moves to disable Apple Pay support is related to their participation in the Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX), which is a group consisting of other retailers like Walmart, Best Buy, and Gap. MCX is developing its own mobile payment system known as CurrentC, which will be available next year according to a claimed internal Rite Aid message. Apple Pay launched last week and is accepted at over 200,000 locations in the U.S. Rite Aid and CVS competitor Walgreens has been one of the biggest supporters of Apple Pay, as the feature is available at many of its over 8,000 stores around the United

CVS Stores Reportedly Disabling NFC to Shut Down Apple Pay and Google Wallet

Earlier this week, pharmacy chain Rite Aid shut down unofficial support for the Apple Pay and Google Wallet mobile payments systems, resulting in an outcry from users who have been testing out Apple's new system since its launch on Monday. Rite Aid was not an official Apple Pay partner, but the payments system generally works with existing near field communications (NFC) payment terminals anyway, and many users had had success using Apple Pay at Rite Aid stores early in the week. It now appears that fellow major pharmacy chain CVS is following suit and as of today is shutting down the NFC functionality of its payment terminals entirely, a move presumably intended to thwart Apple Pay. Google Wallet services are obviously also being affected by the move. Multiple reports on Twitter and the MacRumors forums have indicated that CVS has sent an email to its stores indicating that NFC support is to be turned off. It is still relatively early in the day in the U.S., but we are now starting to see reports of NFC indeed being turned off at CVS stores. The reason behind Rite Aid's and CVS's moves to disable unofficial Apple Pay support in their stores is presumably related to their participation in Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX), a retailer group developing its own mobile payments system known as CurrentC. A claimed internal Rite Aid message shared with SlashGear supports this notion, instructing cashiers to explain to customers that Apple Pay is not supported but that MCX's solution will be available next year. Rite Aid internal memo regarding Apple Pay Rite Aid's