As October was closing out we posted a report titled "Merchants Going to War with Apple Pay will lose." We presented the views of an Apple Pay competitor called the "Merchant Customer Exchange" (CurrentC) that were expressed by Bloomberg's Editor-at-Large Cory Johnson. Our report pointed to why the likes of CVS and Walmart want to support Apple's competitor along with Apple's view point as presented in slides from Apple's keynote that covered the introduction of Apple Pay. At the end of the day I said that Apple fans are dedicated to using new technology that Apple provides them with and that Apple fans would rather switch retailer than drop a new Apple iPhone feature. Today, Walt Mossberg entered the fray and has decided to switch from CVS to Walgreens on this very principle that we presented.
Today, Walt Mossberg published a report titled "What are the Anti-Apple Pay Merchants Afraid Of? In that report Mossberg states that "I've been a regular customer at CVS/pharmacy, the country's second-largest drugstore chain, for 20 years. I've spent a small fortune there over that span, visiting several times a week to pick up everything from milk to toothpaste to prescriptions," Walt Mossberg writes for Re/code. "But lately, I'm not feeling very happy with CVS, because of a business decision it made that curtailed my choice of how I could pay in its stores with my own credit cards. In fact, I've been taking more of my shopping down the road to CVS's main rival, Walgreens."
We noted in our October report that New York Times as pointed out what we all knew. That the digital wallet led by others like Google Wallet, just weren't panning out. Apple's CEO asked why that was. His reply was that "as it turns out, people who have worked on this have started by focusing on building a business model that was centered around their interests instead of focusing on the user experience."
To me the bottom line was very simple. If Walmart said no to Apple Pay, I'd go to Target and that's the way I would approach any business that I frequent. If one will not support Apple Pay a competing store will and gain my business. I believe that most Apple fans will do the very same thing. So having Mossberg step out and take a stand publicly, I see that the position that we took in our report is beginning to take root. As we stated "Merchants going to war with Apple Pay will lose."
One last point. Mossberg was able to get the CEO of the Merchant Customer Exhange (MCX) to admit that their exclusivity clause that their partners are currently under will expire in months not years. I guess that they're already feeling the pressure from the CVS gaff. For more on what Mossberg said, check out his report.