Apple Pay has launched, but several retailers are disabling their Near Field Communications system to thwart the payment system, as well as other NFC-enabled mobile payment systems. UPDATE: "We've got a lot more merchants to sign up, we've got a lot of banks to sign up and we've got the rest of the world," Cook said Monday at the Wall Street Journal Digital Live conference.
The major retailers include Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Best Buy, CVS, Rite Aid, Kmart, 7-Eleven, and many others. In fact, Apple itself lists only 34 retailers accepting the system, and that includes eight merchants that are part of Foot Locker’s stable of brands, according to the Verge.
The move is widely seen as an attempt to thwart the credit-card fees retailers must pay for every transaction, which is in part what the retailers' own CurrentC mobile payment system is designed to do. CurrentC uses QR codes and the cloud rather than NFC and has been developed by a group of retailers led by Wal-Mart. Stores Inc.
UPDATE: "It's a skirmish," Cook said about retailers that are blocking Apple Pay. "Merchants have different objectives sometimes. But in the long arc of time, you only are relevant as a retailer or merchant if your customers love you."
At a time when many would expect retailers to embrace any point-of-sale technology that provides added security against data breaches, several major retailers instead are thwarting Apple Pay, Google Wallet, Softcard, and others in favor of their own yet-to-arrive mobile system. That system, CurrentC, is expected to come online some time early next year, but it is widely seen as designed mainly to solve retailers’ credit-card fee issues rather than security and convenience demands by customers.