Swatch Shoots Down Apple iWatch Collaboration RumorNathanael ArnoldGoogle+Twitter More Articles October 25, 2014 Source: Justin Sullivan / Getty Images While Apple has found quite a few retailers and merchants willing to join Apple Pay, there are quite a few notable exceptions to this. It is understandable that many of these holdouts are taking a wait-and-see approach to Apple Pay before investing in the NFC-compatible equipment needed to accept mobile payments. At least one retailer now seems to take a constructive stand against Apple Pay in the hopes of supporting its own alternative mobile payment scheme. As reported by Slash Gear Rite Aid, Apple Pay was recently discontinued after initially supporting it for a brief period when the program was rolled out earlier this month. Although initially thought to be a minor technical problem, the leaked documents obtained by Slash Gear seem to suggest that it was a deliberate step taken by Rite Aid to stymie what it considers to be a rival mobile payment network. Please advise cashiers to apologize to the customer and explain that we do not currently accept Apple Pay but that next year we will have our own mobile wallet, the alleged internal Rite Aid memo through Slash Gear said. It should be noted that Rite Aid is listed on the official Retailer Customer Exchange (MCX) website as a participating retailer, a merchant-owned mobile commerce network designed to streamline customer shopping experience across all major retail verticals. The system includes a downloadable mobile wallet app from CurrentC which would possibly compete with Apple Pay. MCX participants include a range of Apple Pay holdouts including Wal-Mart Best Buy Beyond and Publix Bed Baths. Source: Thinkstock Although it is understandable that a retailer wants to promote their own mobile payment system over a rival one, it should be noted that the mobile payment system of MCX has not even been launched. Rite Aid, in other words, simply replaced one mobile payment system with another; it narrowed existing payment options for customers only. Even worse, there are already signs that it won’t be as safe as Apple Pay even when the MCX program is available. Of course, if Apple’s system continues to grow in popularity, merchants who refuse to offer Apple Pay in the hope that customers will flock to an as-yet-unaccessible competing mobile payment platform could change their tune. Meanwhile faithful Apple users always have the option to shop to Rite Aid like Walgreens at Apple Pay-compatible competitors.
Apple SIM card is versatile
Like Apple’s mobile payment scheme, the new Apple SIM card is also opposed by existing industrial heavyweights interested in maintaining the status quo. As noted earlier, the latest cellular iPad models now feature a new Apple SIM that should allow users to switch between carriers without the hassle of removing the SIM card physically. As explained in a clarifying support document posted on Apple’s website iPads purchased from Sprint Stores can hold only legacy Sprint SIM cards (not Apple SIM cards) with iPads. Similarly, if a customer selects AT T as their iPad Air 2 or iPad mini 3 carrier AT T only dedicates [ the ] Apple SIM to its network. AT T has the most stringent policies since an iPad will be connected to its network once it has been selected as a carrier regardless of where an iPad was purchased. On the other hand, if a customer purchases an iPad from the Apple Store and selects Sprint as a carrier, they will still have the multi-carrier compatibility feature as Apple intends. Since both steps negate the benefit of having an Apple SIM card, however, this raises the question of why both AT T and Sprint are classified as participating carriers. The policies of AT T and Sprint leave T-Mobile as the only participating carrier keeping the features of the Apple SIM card completely intact. Through its Uncarrier program, T-Mobile already has a reputation as a wireless industry disrupter that removed conventional long-term contracts from the market. T-Mobile CEO John Legere has appeared in a recent tweet to affirm his firm’s dedication to Apple SIM. Kudos also to Verizon a non-participating carrier who was fair enough from the start to deny support for the Apple SIM card. The success or failure of Apple Pay and the Apple SIM card will eventually be determined by customers, although some companies are trying to obstruct the acceptance of Apple’s technologies in the mobile payments and cellular network industries. If consumers flock to retailers and carriers providing such services and avoiding those that don t then the rest of the industry will be forced to follow irrespective of how disruptive the changes can initially be. @ArnoldEtan WSCS)
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