Market Mad House

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

Grocery Wars

Apple Pay at CVS, 7-Eleven, and Square

You can use Apple Pay at CVS because CVS Health is supporting Apple Pay. America’s largest drugstore operator is accepting Apple Pay at some of its stores.

For example, CVS Health will slowly rollout Apple Pay at select drugstores, Retail Dive reports. The rollout marks an about face for CVS which was saying no to NFC mobile wallets.

Notably, CVS Health is one of many major retailers that have refused to accept transactions from near field communications (NFC) mobile wallets. To explain, NFC wallets use a wireless signal to contact a retailer’s payment system.

Retailers like CVS Health and Walmart (NYSE: WMT) are reluctant to take NFC payment because of security risks. Instead, Walmart pushes quick-read (QR) code wallets that limit direct contact between payment platforms and a retailer’s computers.

CVS Health and 7-Eleven Surrender to Apple Pay

Entering CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) is a major coup for Apple Pay, because CVS operates 9,000 pharmacies and 1,100 Minute Clinics. Moreover, CVS Health is a major prescription processor that is acquiring the health insurance giant Aetna (NYSE: AET).

News reports did not say if the CVS Health pharmacies in Target (NYSE: TGT) stores will accept Apple Pay. Like, Walmart and Kroger (NYSE: KR) Target has been a notable Apple Pay holdout.

In addition, convenience store operator 7-Eleven will accept Google Pay and Apple Pay at its stores. 7-Eleven is accepting NFC payments , Retail Dive reports. However, Retail Dive did not say if 7-Eleven gas pumps will accept NFC payments.

Importantly, 7-Eleven operates nearly 8,000 stores nationwide. Acceptance by 7-Eleven is important because it shows working-class accept of mobile payment. To clarify, most of 7-Eleven’s customers are working-class Americans with limited incomes.

Square likes Apple Pay and Google Pay

Square’s (NYSE: SQ) new point-of-sale device (POS) Terminal will accept NFC payments. Significantly, Terminal will accept Google Pay, Samsung Pay, and Apple Pay, The Verge claims.

Square hopes brick and mortar merchants will replace their credit card readers with Terminal. Terminal will accept chip-enabled credit and debit cards besides NFC wallets.

Interestingly, Terminal may not accept QR code wallets like Alipay, Tencent Holdings’ WeChat Pay, Chase Pay, and Walmart Pay. However, Terminal should work with QR Code scanners.

The Challenges for Square and Terminal

The big advantage to Terminal is that users will not have to go through a bank for payment processing. Square claims will cut fees and speed up the process.

The disadvantage to Terminal is that it apparently will not support PayPal (NASDAQ: PYPL). On the other hand, Terminal can easily access PayPal balances via PayPal MasterCard accounts.

The big challenges for Square are to get major retailers to use Terminal and to accept cryptocurrency payments. Cryptocurrencies like Dash (DASH) and Ripple (XRP) will only be niche payment options in the United States.

Square and Cryptocurrency

Conversely, cryptocurrencies like Dash (DASH) and the ERC20 Token PundiX (NPXS) will find a huge market in emerging economies with lousy fiat currencies. For example, PundiX and Manticora Capital are installing 1,000 PundiX POS units in stores in Colombia.

Therefore, Square will have to offer a Terminal that accepts cryptocurrency in countries like Colombia. As a result, Square’s management will have to decide if doing business in countries like Colombia and accepting cryptocurrency is worth the risks.

Mobile payment is finally reaching a mass market. However, mobile payment acceptance is not occurring as quickly or as effortlessly as Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) would like. Both Square and Apple will be major players in the emerging mobile payment market.



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