CVS and Rite Aid gave Apple Pay the thumbs down in favour of a rival system that roughly 50 chains, including Wal-Mart and Best Buy, are developing for in-house use.
Apple touted Apple Pay as one of the reasons you needed to buy one of its expensive bendy phones and told its fan boy base that they would be able to shop in most places by waving their phones at bored cashiers.
Unfortunately, for Cook, his cunning plan required retailers to pay fees to card companies like Visa and Mastercard. Fees range between two percent and three percent of costs per transaction and it would seem unnecessary if retailers used their own system.
Cook argued on Monday that Apple Pay offered better security and privacy than competing services, and that retailers risked alienating customers by limiting choices at checkout.
“It’s a skirmish,” Cook said in response to a question about the retailers’ moves.
“Merchants have different objectives sometimes. But in the long arc of time, you only are relevant as a retailer or merchant if your customers love you.”
In other words if the retailers do not do what Apple tells them, people who own its phones will shop elsewhere.
Of course the Tame Apple press is doing its best to help. Rather than telling fanboys that no shop is going to be impressed with them waving their flaccid bendy phone at them, it is instead trying to talk up the failing Apple Pay system. This is mostly done by publishing Apple sourced figures about the number of people signing up to Apple Pay to put pressure on retailers to do Cook’s bidding.