Apple Pay launched on October 20, and while many iPhone users enthusiastically adopted it, even purposefully making purchases they didn't need just to see it in action, some retailers have turned away from the new technology. Rite Aid and CVS turned off the ability to use digital wallets, including Apple Pay and Google Wallet, in anticipation of a new, competitive product, CurrentC. On Monday, Apple CEO Tim Cook took to the stage at the WSJD Live Global Technology Conference and addressed this coming battle of digital payments directly.
Cook called the situation nothing more than a "skirmish," noting that neither Rite Aid nor CVS were formal partners in the platform. "You are only relevant as a retailer or merchant if your customers love you," Cook said. "[Apple Pay] is the first and only mobile payment system that’s easy, private, and secure."
When it comes to privacy concerns, Cook struck a chord that experts have already been harping on with the rival product: CurrentC just doesn't seem very safe. Security expert Nick Arnott was able to discover just some of the information CurrentC plans to collect, including location data and movement. "With CurrentC, you're not the customer—you're the product being sold," said Arnott.