US retail giants Walmart and Best Buy have both signalled that they will not adopt Apple Pay, the near-field communication payment method unveiled as part of the iPhone 6 launch.
Apple’s near-field-communication (NFC) payment option is seen by some as having the potential to revolutionise mobile payments by putting the brand’s weight and popularity among consumers behind the technology.
Although retailers such as Walgreen’s and Bloomingdale’s will allow shoppers to use Apply Pay from October, the decision by Walmart and Best Buy is seen as a potential setback for the service.
Walmart and Best Buy are instead lending their support to Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX), a mobile commerce network backed by a range of retailers including Target and Lowe’s.
It has started trials of a mobile wallet app called CurrentC and intends to roll it out nationally in the US next year.
Unveiling the plans at the start of this month chief executive Dekkers Davidson said: “CurrentC will offer customers a simpler, faster, secure way to check out at their favourite merchants.
“At full scale, CurrentC will be accepted in more than 110,000 merchant locations across the country, giving consumers unmatched access to their favourite retailers.
“It will also offer innovative features and benefits, such as merchant loyalty programmes and instant coupon savings, all stored on the phone and available at the point of sale.”
One of the challenges to wide adoption of NFC technology is cost. Best Buy, for instance, turned off its NFC-enabled scanners three years ago because of the associated expense.
The MCX payment system uses downloaded software and works on iPhones and Android phones.