Gruber on CVS and Rite Aid Blocking Apple Pay

John Gruber – Retailers Are Disabling NFC to Block Apple Pay

Tim Cook was exactly right on stage last month when he introduced Apple Pay: it’s the only mobile payment solution designed around improving the customer experience. CurrentC is designed around the collection of customer data and the ability to offer coupons and other junk. Here is what a printed receipt from CVS looks like. It looks like a joke, but that’s for real. And that’s the sort of experience they want to bring to mobile payments.

John and I are on the same page here. These companies don’t like Apple Pay because it removes their ability to mine a ton of data from their customers. Based on what I’ve read, these alternative systems look harder to use, will be less universal than Apple Pay (or Google Wallet), and critically, less secure.

Apple Pay is brilliant for 2 reasons:

  1. It is more secure than standard credit cards.
  2. It’s damn easy to use.

I’ve used Apple Pay twice (at Whole Foods and Panara) and each time was a dream. It was indeed easier than using plastic. And nothing against these companies, but I like neither they nor Apple can gather any information about the transaction. Only my bank knows what I spent and where I spent it. Are CVS or Rite Aid really going to do something as good in both of those key ways? Not a chance.