Well, for whatever reason it seems Rite Aid has dropped out of their exclusivity with CurrentC, and they now support Google Wallet nationwide with today’s announcements that they have re-enabled their stores with contactless payment terminals. They’ve also confirmed this means there will be proper support for Android Pay when it launches.
If you don’t remember, Rite Aid was one of several companies under fire because they deliberately disabled contactless payments in their stores due to an exclusive agreement to support a competing mobile payments solution. That payment solution was CurrentC, and it utilized QR-codes on camera-equipped phones to process payments. It sounds archaic, but more importantly the service has taken much longer to launch than anyone anticipated.
Rite Aid is, well, right in identifying that opening up to existing wireless payment solutions is the way to go. Users want, desire, and need choice. Telling them they can’t use their Android phone to pay for goods when your competitor allows it might be enough for some people to completely dodge your store, even if they generally don’t have any other issues.
No one is saying CurrentC shouldn’t exist, but it shouldn’t try to monopolize the market by making these exclusive agreements. People will use your product if it’s good, so make it good and stop resorting to these competition-stifling tactics to try and force it down their throats.
We strongly urge the other stores in the Merchant Customer Exchange to consider following Rite Aid’s example and allow us to use whatever we want to use to buy from your stores, because there isn’t a whole lot stopping us from simply driving into the parking lot of a similar store a few spots down the street. Rite Aid’s changes go into effect August 15th.
[via Rite Aid]