(Reuters) – Suddenly it’s Apple versus Wal-Mart in the fight for shoppers’ digital wallets.
With the development of a new mobile payment system, a group of retailers led by Wal-Mart Stores is aiming to upend the $4.5 trillion credit card market and control the precious transaction data generated at the checkout line.
The difficulty of the task became clear this week when drugstore chains CVS Health Corp and Rite Aid, in a move apparently aimed at shoring up the retailers’ pay system, stopped accepting payments on Apple Inc’s iPhones. That prompted consumers to complain that they were being denied a user-friendly payment option.
The “skirmish,” as Apple CEO Tim Cook put it this week, is the latest dispute to emerge from the Byzantine world of payment systems, which is dominated by banks and credit card firms.