Major US retailer abruptly removes Apple Pay support after two years

Major US retailer abruptly removes Apple Pay support after two years
UPDATE: JCPenney has finally released an official statement, first reported by TechCrunch. This offers a technical explanation for the retailer's decision to "suspend all contactless payment options until a later date." While that suggests there's a good chance Apple Pay support will be reactivated at some point in the future, JCPenney is also hinting at modest popularity for the digital wallet app in its stores, claiming the "vast majority" of shoppers continue to rely largely on "inserting or swiping their physical credit cards at point-of-sale terminals" to complete their transactions. Original article follows.

While Apple is still selling plenty of iPhones, iPads, and smartwatches around the world, the tech giant's "services" and software are suddenly growing at an unrivaled pace, generating revenues of nearly $11 billion between October and December 2018, up from $9.1 billion during the final three months of the previous year. Apple Pay, Apple Music, and the iOS App Store are by far the most successful and lucrative such services, at least until the Apple Arcade and TV+ platforms actually become available for end users.

Released less than five years ago, Apple Pay powered a mind-blowing 1.8 billion transactions in the last 90 calendar days of 2018, continuing its aggressive expansion stateside and worldwide with a long overdue debut in Germany, as well as major new partnerships with the likes of CVS, Target, and Taco Bell.

Curiously enough, another big US retailer confirmed on Twitter over the weekend (via MacRumors) its "decision to remove Apple Pay for our stores." JCPenney's move is certainly unusual (if not unprecedented), as there are still a few holdouts in Apple's race to US ubiquity, but we can't really remember anyone that supported the digital wallet platform for a couple of years to then reconsider without offering any sort of justification.

While not the earliest supporter of the increasingly popular app, JCPenney did embrace the service back in 2017, helping it reach 74 of the top 100 US retailers by revenue as of January 2019. That included Target and Taco Bell, so we're guessing the count is now down to 73. That's still an impressive number, as is the 70 percent touted by Tim Cook as the platform's target for later this year as far as all US retailers are concerned. 

Hopefully, we'll get an explanation from JCPenney soon as to what made the department store chain pull the plug on Apple Pay support in both its retail locations and iOS app.

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19 Comments

1. md227a

Posts: 222; Member since: Mar 20, 2012

My guess is JC Penny’s is about to go belly up. I can’t remember the last time I was in one of their stores let alone bought anything there.

11. audibot

Posts: 590; Member since: Jan 26, 2017

check the news they already are, they have sold most of there name brands but i know my property is closing july lack of sales they building just looks like crap and the name needed to change a long time ago. but hey samsung pay will still work and you get cash back when using it

14. geordie8t1

Posts: 268; Member since: Nov 16, 2015

That doesn't make sense, regardless of them going belly up or not, surely they would just support a payment method until the end, its not like it costs them anything more then the standard transaction fees associated with debit/credit cards

2. yonith

Posts: 221; Member since: Sep 11, 2012

Lol JC Penny...just die already!

16. cncrim

Posts: 1558; Member since: Aug 15, 2011

Why rude to be fail, you should want them success and recover.

3. blingblingthing

Posts: 842; Member since: Oct 23, 2012

JC Penny also employs people you know, why would you want them to go out of business? Not cool.

12. audibot

Posts: 590; Member since: Jan 26, 2017

am guessing they are young and get everything on amazon all the knock stuff as well thinking its real

17. cncrim

Posts: 1558; Member since: Aug 15, 2011

Because Hater will hate, they are young and don’t understand life yet.

4. libra89

Posts: 2221; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

This is interesting. It makes me wonder if they just removed Apple Pay only or all forms of mobile payment in general?

15. libra89

Posts: 2221; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

With the update, I called that one. Just Apple Pay doesn't make sense. It's either all or none.

19. Rampage_Taco

Posts: 997; Member since: Jan 17, 2017

They simply could disable NFC, which would void Apple Pay, Android Pay, and half of Samsung Pay, however MST would still be supported. Samsung Pay FTW

5. mbp432

Posts: 50; Member since: Nov 13, 2014

You don't have to worry about that with Samsung Pay!

10. ShadowUnleashed

Posts: 87; Member since: Feb 08, 2018

Exactly! I love it a lot.

6. DFranch

Posts: 511; Member since: Apr 20, 2012

The previous CEO's decision to sell appliances seems like a big mistake. They are also selling mattresses now, that's a lot of floor space going to waste. I did just buy Blinds and curtains at JC Penny. So, it hasn't quite reached a Sears level of uselessness in my house anyway.

7. LAgurl

Posts: 66; Member since: Dec 05, 2018

who even shops there any more? i went a while back it was COMPLETELY dead i was the only one in there. Felt so strange .

9. tedkord

Posts: 17094; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

The one near me is always crowded. Not to the point that you can't move, but they're are lines at the registers.

8. TheHitman1982

Posts: 89; Member since: Dec 30, 2014

I just bought some stuff from JCPenny...com

13. audibot

Posts: 590; Member since: Jan 26, 2017

i will say they have great sales and on the east coast they sell ecko, hell i just found pants at sears for work and cashual and they are only 10 and 15 bucks the cashual pants feel and look like my tommy hillfigure pants i was like hell yeah screw tommy. sorry for spelling its 447am and on pain meds

18. ssallen

Posts: 127; Member since: Oct 06, 2017

Meh, this article is just another thinly obfuscated Apple ad.

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