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Apple downplays MCX's Apple Pay embargo, cites 'enthusiastic' response from supporting retailers and customers

Apple on Monday issued a statement touching on recent events that saw Apple Pay embargoed by MCX members Rite Aid and CVS, saying the mobile payment rollout has been largely successful and continues to gather steam as additional retailers pledge support.

In response to the Apple Pay prohibition, Apple told Business Insider that it has received an "overwhelmingly positive" response from both customers and merchants, noting many retailers are already seeing the benefits of its touch-less payment solution.

The feedback we are getting from customers and retailers about Apple Pay is overwhelmingly positive and enthusiastic. We are working to get as many merchants as possible to support this convenient, secure and private payment option for consumers. Many retailers have already seen the benefits and are delighting their customers at over 220,000 locations.

Over the weekend, drug store chains Rite Aid and CVS began blocking NFC transactions in preparation of its own brand of mobile payments known as CurrentC. The system is being developed for the Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX), a consortium of big-name retailers of which both Rite Aid and CVS are members. MCX is spearheaded by industry giants Walmart, 7-11 and Best Buy, among many others.

Compared to Apple Pay, however, CurrentC appears to be less secure and harder to use. The system requires customers to download a special app, which will generate a QR code cashiers scan on checkout, or alternatively scan a code generated on the cashier's terminal. Purchase history can be tracked, but in return customers get incentives like support for loyalty rewards programs.

Perhaps most troubling is CurrentC's request to link to users' bank accounts, a dangerous proposition given current levels of digital thievery. Apple Pay, on the other hand, features automatic point-of-sale terminal recognition, secure Touch ID fingerprint integration and seamless tokenized payment handling.

Apple Pay rolled out last week as part of the latest iOS 8.1 maintenance update. With the capability activated, iPhone 6 and 6 Plus owners can load in credit card