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Why US retailers including Walmart are blocking Apple Pay

Big US retailers including WalMart, 7-Eleven and Best Buy are planning to freeze-out Apple Pay, Apple’s new contactless payment service, which launched just a week ago Stateside.

The reason seems to be that WalMart, along with a few other massive American retailers, is in the process of creating its own electronic payment system – CurrentC, which will be in direct competition with Apple Pay. As such, the retailers have no plans to allow any other e-pay service in their stores.

CurrentC is expected to launch next year and is intended to cut out the middle man by drawing cash directly from users’ bank accounts when paying for goods at the checkout. In the meantime, a leaked memo doing the internet rounds shows that WalMart was planning to disable or alter its NFC payment points so that Apple Pay could not be used.

If anyone can challenge Apple, it’s WalMart. The largest retailer in the world has already got a slew of other stores on-board, including Gap, Old Navy, 7-Eleven, Kohls, Lowes, Dunkin’ Donuts, Sam’s Club, Sears, Kmart, Bed, Bath & Beyond, Banana Republic, Stop & Shop, and Wendy’s in the States.

CurrentC will be available for both Apple and Android devices and will also aggregate exclusive coupons and offers for users as a kind of sweetener for choosing the service.

It’s unclear if CurrentC will be available in the UK at any point, but with WalMart owning supermarket chain Asda, we can see definite scope for the service appearing here next year – which may not be the best news in the world for Apple’s fledgling service, which is also planned for a 2015 UK launch.

After reports that some Apple Pay customers have been charged twice by accident, it’s been a mixed first week for Apple’s payment service. All to be expected of course, and we’ll be interested to see the state of Apple Pay come 2015 when it lands in Blighty.

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