Why Did CVS and Rite-Aid Discontinue Apple Pay This Morning?

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When Apple launched its new "Apple Pay" system last week, it promised a revolutionary way to supplant traditional credit cards, allowing users to pay for items with little more than a wave of their smartphone. The new service works only with the new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus phones. To date, companies such as PayPal and Google and carriers such as AT&T and Verizon have been trying to convince their customers to pay using their smartphones. 

But this morning, Rite Aid and CVS pharmacies announced that they were pulling the plug on Apple Pay, at least for now (they also disabled other tap-to-pay mobile systems from Google Wallet and Softcard). A spokeswoman for Rite-Aid told Bloomberg News that while the company was "committed to offering convenient, reliable and secure payment methods," that won't be happening right now, at least not with Apple Pay. 

It turns out that Rite-Aid and CVS are teaming up with WalMart and Best-Buy to develop their own mobile payment system, called CurrentC.

Apple isn't commenting on Rite-Aid's and CVS's decision, but a spokesman for MasterCard—a partner with Apple on the new system—added, "We look forward to turning the functionality back on in their stores."