The new Apple Pay Service was activated more than one million time in the first 72 hours, more than all other competitors combined. In an inaugural WSJD Live conference on Monday, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) CEO Tim Cook said, “The early ramp [of Apple Pay] looks fantastic.”
Retailers blocking Apple Pay is ‘skirmish’
Cook talked about the recent actions by Merchant Consumer Exchange retailers like Rite Aid and CVS blocking Apple Pay, calling the act a “skirmish” that will finally be decided by consumers in the long-run. Apple Pay was unveiled on iOS 8.1 last week, allowing NFC feature in the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus to support touchless mobile payment. Apple Pay integrates with Touch ID fingerprint recognition, performs tokenized transactions and includes hardware-level data security.
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Apple Pay is already giving a tough time to the established companies in the payment industry. A clear reason for companies like Rite Aid and CVS turning off support for Apple Pay could not be established. Ashley Flower, a spokeswoman for the Rite Aid, said that the company is not accepting the Apple Pay. She added that Rite Aid was still in the process of evaluating mobile payment options.
According to analysts, the companies took this step because they are developing a rival mobile payment system. Rite Aid and CVS are members of a group of retailers that had teamed up with Apple on its payment system. Until last week, Apple Pay technology was working in Rite Aid and CVS stores.
Fight to get more intense
Patrick Moorhead, president of Moor Insights & Strategy, said, “Clearly Rite Aid and CVS are making a business decision over a customer satisfaction decision.” Moorhead said that the step could not settle well with the consumers who believe that Apple’s new product is easier and safer than paying with a traditional credit card.
According to an executive at MasterCard that has collaborated with Apple Pay, both the companies wrongly shut down Apple Pay service. “We think consumers should have the ability to pay any way they want,” said Ed McLaughlin, chief emerging payments officer at MasterCard.
In the coming days, the battle for supremacy will pick up as companies like PayPal and Google update their mobile wallet strategy to deal with the dynamic market.