CVS Pharmacy has officially launched support for Apple Pay nationwide this week, a few months after Apple CEO Tim Cook confirmed that the retailer would be accepting Apple Pay later in the year. CVS has been gradually rolling out support for Apple Pay at its stores in recent weeks, and now it appears to be officially complete.
Using Apple Pay, CVS customers can now pay for their items on compatible iPhones and Apple Watches, by placing the devices close to a near field communication (NFC) payment terminal at checkout. In a marketing email being sent out to customers, Apple encourages shoppers to check out at CVS with its mobile wallet:
Get your essentials in a flash. Buying snacks, vitamins, personal care, and prescriptions from CVS Pharmacy just got faster and more secure.
At the launch of Apple Pay in 2014, CVS disabled NFC payment terminals at some of its locations in order to stop the use of Apple Pay. A few years later, the company debuted “CVS Pay,” which used a barcode-based system to allow customers to check out using their smartphone and the CVS Pharmacy app.
Now that CVS has turned around and rolled out Apple Pay support, there are just a few remaining large retail chains refraining from supporting Apple’s mobile wallet. This includes Target, which previously said it has no plans to accept Apple Pay in its stores and instead launched a “Wallet” feature in the Target iOS app, allowing customers to pay for their groceries and other items with their smartphone at checkout.
Another is Walmart, which has followed a similar trajectory as Target: the company confirmed it has no plans to support Apple Pay in its retail stores, instead pushing its own “Walmart Pay” mobile wallet checkout option. As with CVS, these companies could eventually decide to accept Apple Pay as a checkout option for customers, but as of now it doesn’t appear like this will happen anytime soon.
Apple Pay launched in the United States in October 2014, providing tap-to-pay functionality with a compatible iPhone or Apple Watch after setting up a supported credit or debit card in the Wallet app. Apple Pay is now available in more than 20 countries, and now also supports a person-to-person payment feature called Apple Pay Cash.
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