Market Mad House

In individuals, insanity is rare; but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule. Friedrich Nietzsche

Long Ideas

Who Actually Accepts Apple Pay?

It looks as if the app payment revolution has ground to a sudden halt. Instead of demonstrating the capabilities of app payment solutions, Apple’s (NASDAQ: AAPL) Apple Pay is graphically demonstrating their limitations.

Yes, you can use Apple Pay at over 220,000 stores nationwide, but you cannot use it at many of the places where you actually shop. Here’s a list of the major retailers accepting Apple Pay put together by the WonderHowTo Blog:

  • Aéropostale
  • American Eagle Outfitters
  • Apple Store
  • Babies “R” Us
  • BJ’s Wholesale Club
  • Bloomingdale’s
  • Champs Sports
  • Chevron
  • Chevron ExtraMile
  • Disney Store
  • Duane Reade by Walgreens
  • Foot Locker
  • Footaction
  • House of Hoops by Foot Locker
  • Kids Foot Locker
  • Lady Foot Locker
  • Macy’s
  • McDonald’s
  • Meijer
  • Nike
  • Office Depot
  • Panera Bread
  • Petco
  • RadioShack
  • Run by Foot Locker
  • SIX:02
  • Sports Authority
  • Subway
  • Texaco
  • Toys “R” Us
  • Unleashed! by Petco
  • Walgreen
  • Wegmans,
  • Whole Foods Market

Where You Cannot Use Apple Pay

The list is impressive but what really stands out is the retailers that are missing from it. A few of the stores include:

  • The nation’s largest retailer, Walmart Stores Inc. and its subsidiary Sam’s Club.


  • Not a single hotel or motel chain. None appear on the list.
Apple CEO Tim Cook promotes Apple Pay
Apple CEO Tim Cook promotes Apple Pay


  • Not a single airline.


  • The nation’s largest grocer, Kroger Co., which operates dozens of grocery chains, including King Soopers, Ralph’s, and Fred Meyer. Kroger also operates the Loaf and Jug Convenience store chain.


  • Target customers cannot use Apple Pay directly, but they can use it to pay for purchases made through Target’s mobile app.


  • The nation’s second largest grocer, Safeway Stores Inc.


  • Two of the nation’s largest drug store chains, Rite Aid and CVS Health. This might have something to do with a federal law called HIPPA, which mandates security standards for medical records, such as prescriptions, which Apple Pay might not meet.


  • Several big names in fast food, including Burger King, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Taco Bell, Arby’s, Chick-fil-A, and Chipotle.



  • The giant club store operator Costco.



  • 7-Eleven.


  • Most of the nation’s big gas station operators, including Shell, Phillips 66, BP, and Exxon.


  • Home improvement giants Home Depot and Lowe’s.


  • com.


  • Dollar stores, such as Family Dollar, Dollar General, and Dollar Tree.


It looks as if Apple Pay users are going to have to go out of their way to find a store that accepts it. That doesn’t bode well for a product that’s being sold as a convenient alternative to cash, checks, and credit cards. Apple Pay does not seem to be very convenient at all.
Nor does Apple Pay work with all credit card readers. Some chains, including Jack in the Box and Lowe’s, have readers that do not accept Apple Pay. News reports indicate that Rite Aid and CVS actually reprogrammed their card readers not to accept Apple Pay.

It does not even look as if the credit card industry is on board with Apple Pay yet. You can use Apple Pay with Visa in the United States, but not in Europe; Visa Europe has decided not to accept Apple Pay until 2015. Reports indicate that it might arrive in the United Kingdom sometime next year. The reason for this appears to be concerns about data security.

Here in the United States, American Express, Visa, and MasterCard are working with Apple Pay, but Discover is not. Nor is Apple Pay compatible with PayPal, even though most of the big banks are working with it.

Apple Pay is not the only payment solution that’s running into problems. Big Retail’s answer to Apple Pay, the Merchant Customer Exchange (or MCX), has not even unveiled its payment solution yet. News reports indicate that its solution called Current C has been plagued by data breaches. Current C is supposed to be available on Android and iPhone sometime next year. The MCX is currently talking about allowing Apple Pay in its member stores, but won’t say when that will happen.


Target is testing Current C in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, The Star-Tribune newspaper reported. Those using the app in the test are Target headquarters employees, so the results of the test are not known. The public has not been allowed to participate in those tests or see Current C in action yet.

It looks as if the payment app revolution has ended before it even began. Those waiting to use their phone to pay will have to wait for at least another year. Its effect on the bottom line of Apple, Visa, MasterCard, and other companies is likely not to be seen for a few years.