First it was Rite Aid, and now CVS is disabling support for NFC payments. That means all you Apple Pay and Google Wallet users will have to use plain old cash and plastic. Perhaps the digital wallet future isn’t here just yet. According to internal documents, the problem seems to center on a mobile payment system called CurrentC, which is being developed by the Merchant Customer Exchange (MCE) and is set to launch next year.
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.