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Why Rite Aid and CVS Stopped Taking Apple Pay

Why Rite Aid and CVS Stopped Taking Apple Pay
Photograph by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The introduction of Apple Pay last Monday was widely described as the dawn of a new era for smartphone payments. But within a week, two major pharmacy chains, Rite Aid and CVS, rejected Apple’s version of the future: Both disabled Apple Pay (as well as other tap-to-pay mobile payments systems Google Wallet and Softcard). As expected, customers took to Twitter to complain, and they almost universally sided with the smartphone company over the drugstores.

CVS hasn’t publicly explained itself. Rite Aid spokeswoman Ashley Flower defended the company in an e-mail to Bloomberg Businessweek. “We are continually evaluating various forms of mobile payment technologies, and are committed to offering convenient, reliable, and secure payment methods that meet the needs of our customers,” she wrote.