By Rishi Iyengar
October 27, 2014

Apple’s attempt to revolutionize the way people pay for things hit a roadblock over the weekend, with pharmaceutical retail chains CVS and RiteAid disabling its mobile payment system Apple Pay across their stores.

RiteAid stopped accepting mobile payment systems that use near-field communication (NFC) earlier in the week. Tech website MacRumors then reported that CVS joined them on Saturday, when it reportedly sent an email to all its employees instructing them that customers would no longer be able to pay using software like Apple Pay and Android’s Google Wallet.

The move is apparently part of a project involving several large retail companies — including Wal-Mart and Best Buy — who are developing a mobile payment system of their own. The system, known as Merchant Customer Exchange or MCX, will use a different technology to that used by Apple Pay and Google Wallet, and its ultimate aim is to cut out credit card companies altogether, as Fortune reports.

Neither CVS nor RiteAid were named among the companies accepting Apple Pay when it was launched last month, but it had been functioning at both chains until they shut it down.

“This act by CVS and Rite Aid heralds the advent of the imminent battle in the mobile pay system,” NYU marketing and information technology professor Anindya Ghose told Bloomberg.

Write to Rishi Iyengar at rishi.iyengar@timeasia.com.

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