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Enemies of Apple Pay push for CurrentCRetailers take sides in the battle of mobile payment technology, with some shutting down NFC sensors to block Apple Pay and Google Wallet in favor of an app that tracks customer data. Also, Amazon takes on Chromecast, and Fitbit launches new wristbands.
In the battle for mobile payment technology, consumers lose. I'm Bridget Carey and this is your CNet update. [MUSIC] Apple pushed mobile payments forward when it launched Apple Pay a week ago, but now several retailers are pushing back and blocking the service from being used in stores. Over the weekend pharmacy chains Rite Aid and CVS have turned off the technology that was used for Apple pay and Google wallet. Customers with smart phones that had NFC chips could just tap a sensor to pay at the register. The sensors were suddenly deactivated to promote a competing service called Currentc. But this isn't just a drug store fight. About 50 major retailers are supporting currency, including chain restaurants, airlines, gas stations and grocery stores. Wal-Mart and Best Buy are the top stores leading the battle. Using currency isn't as quick as Apple Pay because it doesn't require an NFC chip. You have to unlock your phone, open up an app and then scan a QR code at the register. Now there are a few reasons that retailers would rather use currency over Apple Pay. Stores can track your shopping habits with data on what you buy, and the app would incorporate coupons and loyalty card programs. Apple Pay keeps your purchases anonymous, and it doesn't work with points programs. Now saving money on coupons is nice, but it's a shame that stores are taking sides by blocking already installed NFC technology from customers. With different stores using different systems, consumers will be confused and it'll slow progress for this technology. And to add to the drama, currency doesn't even launch until next year. In other news, Amazon has a brand new way to stream video to your television, for cheap. It's called the Fire TV stick. This plugs into the HDMI port on the back of your TV, and when you set up a WiFi connection, you have access to Amazon's library of shows and movies. It also can be used for working with the services like Netflix, Hulu. Or streaming music, but it does not have HBO GO. Amazon already has the streaming Fire TV Box, and that costs $100, but their Stick seems to be a better deal at $40, but if you have Prime, you can buy one for 20 bucks, and that price is only until early Wednesday morning. It ships November 19th. Fitbit also unveiled three new fitness tracking wristbands. There's the Charge HR and the Surge. Both which have all day heart rate tracking. But these won't come out until next year. The only new one out in time for the holidays is a simpler model called the Fit Bit charge and it costs $130.00. And speaking of holiday shopping, Microsoft lowered the price of all Xbox One models by $50 until the end of the year. Starting Sunday, you can get the Xbox One for $350. That's your tech news update from our studios in New York. I'm Bridget Carey. [MUSIC]