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Customers furious after J.C. Penney drops Apple Pay support

Business Insider logo Business Insider 4/22/2019 Dave Smith

J.C.Penney, the American department store chain that's been around for 117 years, announced on Twitter that it will no longer support Apple Pay in its stores or online. 

J.C. Penney acknowledged this move for the first time on Saturday, in a response to a customer on Twitter.

J.C. Penney has not provided a rationale for this decision. While the company did respond to the complaint on Twitter, it didn't answer the customer's actual question, which was "Why would you remove a very secure form of payment?"

As you could imagine, many customers have responded to J.C. Penney's tweet expressing their displeasure.

Apple created Apple Pay because plastic credit cards are vulnerable: A credit card can be stolen, and its important numbers and security codes are exposed by default. In contrast, Apple Pay works by reading your iPhone or Apple Watch into an NFC reader and all of your personal identifying information remains private and secure. Apple doesn't see your data, or share it with any third parties.

It's unclear why a large company like J.C. Penney wants Apple Pay out of its retail experience, but we've seen this before. In 2014, shortly after the launch of Apple Pay, a handful of retailers decided to disallow Apple's new mobile payments solution. Most of these companies debuted their own versions of Apple Pay: CVS made "CVS Pay," Walmart made "Walmart Pay," etc. A bunch of retailers even tried making one payments app to rule them all, called CurrentC. But many of these Apple Pay alternatives failed, or the companies eventually relented: for example, CVS is now accepting Apple Pay as of October 2018.

It's possible J.C. Penney chose to remove Apple Pay because it wants more data about its customers, and Apple Pay data is not shared with third parties. That data can be extremely valuable to a chain like J.C.Penney, which has been struggling over the last decade: its number of stores, number of employees, and total revenue has steadily declined since 2007.

Related video: Apple can do more with Apple Pay (provided by CNBC)

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