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Some large U.S. retailers are refusing to use Apple's new electronic payments service as they commit to developing a rival payments system that would bolster their profits by eliminating credit card transaction fees. Wal-Mart is among the roughly 50 big retailers that have chosen not to accept Apple Pay, and over the weekend Rite Aid and CVS disabled the Apple system from their stores nationwide. They say they are working instead on developing their own payment system, called Current C, through the Merchants Customer Exchange (MCX) consortium.
Retailers want to avoid paying credit card transaction fees to card companies like Visa and Mastercard, analysts said. Fees range between 2 percent and 3 percent of costs per transaction. “The economics and benefits of having your own payment system is definitely one of the main reasons," said Hitesh Sheth, chief executive of retail technology cybersecurity firm Vectra Networks.
Apple declined to comment. Mastercard criticized the move by CVS and Rite Aid, saying it would limit the options of consumers. Apple Pay, unveiled just last month, is a mobile payment app that allows consumers to buy things by simply holding their iPhone6 and 6 Plus devices up to NFC readers installed by store merchants.