CVS and Rite Aid just announced that they won’t support, and then disabled, both Apple Pay and Google Wallet.
They have supported Google Wallet for a very long time, but since nobody was using it they didn’t care to disable it. Now that Apple Pay has launched, however, they saw tons of people using the system and abruptly put an end to it.
And the reasoning is horrible.
In short, they have a competing technology, and that technology is based on QR Codes. It’s going to fail so spectacularly, and so many people know this already, that it astounds me that they’re still spending millions on rolling it out.
Here’s how it works:
Walk up to the checkout counter
Pull your phone out of your pocket
Unlock your phone
Open the proprietary payment application
Scan the QR code
This level of friction simply won’t get any adoption because of a simple reason: it’s harder than paying with a credit card.
But it’s even worse than that.
The main reason they don’t want to use Apple Pay is that it doesn’t provide any customer information to CVS or Rite Aid. And the new system that they’re proposing does gather information about the customer.
So it’s basically harder to use and it violates the privacy of the customer. Walgreens isn’t having any of this, and still accepts Apple Pay and Google Wallet.
I’ll be doing all of this type of shopping at Walgreens from now on, and I recommend you do the same.