There’s really no good way to spin Walmart, CVS and Rite Aid’s decision to collectively block NFC-enabled mobile payment platforms such as Apple Pay and Google Wallet. This is especially true because the merchants’ real reason for blocking these platforms is because they want to instead promote CurrentC, the mobile app developed by the Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX) that’s significantly less convenient and that collects such a disturbing amount of data that even diehard Google fans are a little creeped out by it.
Walmart does its best to put one of its smiley faces on the decision, however, and has offered Business Insider a ludicrously boneheaded justification that takes circular reason to awesome new heights.
“Ultimately, what matters is that consumers have a payment option that is widely accepted, secure, and developed with their best interests in mind,” a Walmart spokesperson tells Business Insider. “MCX member merchants already collectively serve a majority of Americans every day. MCX’s members believe merchants are in the best position to provide a mobile solution because of their deep insights into their customers’ shopping and buying experiences.”
You got that? One reason Walmart isn’t letting you use Apple Pay in its stores is because the platform isn’t widely accepted. And why isn’t it widely accepted? Because Walmart and its fellow MCX members have decided not to accept it and instead push their own app.
There are some other howlers in this statement, of course — many security experts say that Apple Pay is already more secure than using a credit card, which means it should already be secure enough for MCX accept. Plus, the claim that CurrentC was developed with consumers’ “best interests in mind” doesn’t even need to be debunked — it’s just ludicrous on its face when you consider the insane amounts of data the merchants are collecting from you and sharing with each other with the app.