Rite Aid to reactivate Apple Pay starting August 15

After joining CVS in disabling Apple Pay last October, Rite Aid has announced it will begin accepting the touchless payment method again on Saturday, August 15. The chain’s 4,600 U.S. stores will also start accepting other cell phone-based payment methods and credit or debit cards equipped with tap-and-pay technology, installing NFC terminals in its stores as consumers increasingly turn to the faster form of payment. “Increasingly, consumers are actively seeking out and incorporating mobile technology into many facets of their life, including their shopping and purchasing decisions,” said Ken Martindale, CEO of Rite Aid stores.

The drugstore chain belongs to a group of retailers known as the Merchant Consumer Exchange, which has invested heavily in creating its own contactless, QR-Code-based payment system, called CurrentC. Industry experts saw the move as an effort to avoid the cost of installing NFC terminals and bypass merchant fees imposed by credit card companies, but CurrentC’s three-year exclusivity agreement with MCX members is set to expire this month, just as the payment system begins its first limited test run in member stores. Other MCX members, like Wal-mart and Target, are still not accepting Apple Pay. [via MacRumors]

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