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The Houston Chronicle has a story that examines why more retailers - and consumers - are not using touchless payment systems such as Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay, when it is a “great customer experience - fast, simple and secure” and “much faster and safer than using a credit card.” The answer to the question seems to remain something of a mystery.

According to the piece, “In some cases, big retailers want to develop their own smartphone payment schemes. Walmart, for example, has its own system called Walmart Pay that uses QR codes generated on the phone for making payments. CVS and 7-11 were using a similar system called CurrentC, but that was sold to JP Morgan Chase.” HEB “has terminals prominently displaying the symbol for NFC payments at many of its checkouts,” and “is testing a self-checkout app called H-E-B Go at two of its stores in San Antonio and one in New Braunfels,” but has not yet rolled the system out chain-wide.

In the case of Apple Pay, the Chronicle writes that “adoption was slow when it launched in 2014, but it gained momentum as merchants switched over to payment terminals that took cards with built-in security chips. Retailers had to upgrade anyway, and many added terminals that allowed for tap-to-pay systems.

“During Apple's second-quarter earnings call with analysts last week, CEO Tim Cook said Apple Pay had a record billion-plus transactions during that period. In addition, he said, Apple Pay was coming to two big holdouts - the 7-11 and CVS chains. It will also soon be available in Germany.

“Why don't more retailers offer it? It's not necessarily more expensive, because Apple takes its reported 0.15 percent cut at the bank level, not from the retailer. Merchants do need to invest in terminals that support it, but many of the chip-reading terminals can handle NFC transactions out of the box.”
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