Major US drug store chain CVS Health has launched its own mobile payment solution for use exclusively in its outlets.
Available as a mobile app, CVS Pay lets CVS customers pay for purchases with their smartphones. But unlike Apple Pay and Samsung Pay, which let users complete contactless proximity payments at card terminals, it uses a barcode that is scanned by a store associate at checkout. It’s available for Android and iOS, works with all major credit cards, and is launching in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware, with a national rollout planned for later this year.
Like Walmart Pay, the app can be seen as a form of resistance against the rise of Apple Pay and other major mPayment platforms. CVS was an early backer of CurrentC, a mobile payment alternative spearheaded by Walmart. That platform may now be on a permanent hiatus, but that hasn’t stopped Walmart and CVS from maintaining their recalcitrance against the major mPayment platforms.
For CVS customers who use Apple Pay elsewhere, CVS’ demand that they download a separate app of its own for mPayment purchases could prove irritating; but on the other hand, since it’s tailored for CVS specifically, some customers may appreciate certain conveniences such as mobile alerts when prescriptions are ready. In any case, it’s another indication that merchants see a growing market demand for mPayment options, whatever their form.