Walmart, Best Buy Won’t Accept Apple Pay At Their Stores

NOPE, says Walmart and Best Buy.

NOPE, says Walmart and Best Buy.

Though the highways and byways of America may be dotted with their stores, customers shopping at Walmart and Best Buy won’t be able to pay for stuff using the new Apple Pay system announced this week. Both retailers are eschewing the near-field-communication (or NFC) method of payment in favor of another mobile wallet application.

Apple’s new system is backed by a bunch of banks and credit-card issuers to provide support for Pay, which will allow customers to buy things at certain retailers using the newest iPhones.

But while the financial institutions might be all for it, it seems retailers are a bit more sluggish, reports the Wall Street Journal.

Thus far, iPhone 6 owners will be able use Pay to buy products at 220,000 retail locations in the United States, like McDonalds, Bloomingdale’s and Macy’s. But that number pales in comparison to the more than nine million merchants in this country that accept credit and debit cards.

Using NFC requires retailers to install readers at the checkout line to accept the payments, but only about 10% of merchants are using those readers. Best Buy had NFC-enabled scanners at many stores back in 2011, but stopped using them because it was too expensive to keep them, a spokesman said. It’s not planning on going back down that road, the company said, despite Apple’s push for Pay.

Walmart also confirmed to the WSJ that customers shopping at Walmart won’t be able to use Apple Pay.

Instead, both retailers are getting behind a mobile technology group that’s owned by retailers, called the Merchant Customer Exchange. MCX is in turn launching a mobile wallet application called CurrentC coming in 2015, which will only require a software download instead of checkout scanners, and can be used on any iPhone or Android phone already in use, instead of just the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

CurrentC will connect to consumers’ checking accounts, retailer gift cards and some retail credit cards but won’t work with traditional credit cards.

Will Stores Warm Up to Apple Pay? [Wall Street Journal]