CVS and Walgreens both are accepting bitcoin, but the chain’s core business has been to offer a network of credit and debit cards.
The two retailers have said they plan to make the currency available to consumers through their own platforms.
“We’re going to be able to sell bitcoin cards through our own platforms,” CVS President and CEO Kevin Mullins said at a conference call with analysts.
“We’re not going to force people to buy, but we’re going make it so that if they want to buy bitcoin, they can buy it.”
Walgreens announced it would accept bitcoin in January.
CVS has said that its digital payment system would be open to consumers.
But while both stores have said that their products are compatible with bitcoin, there’s not much clarity on what’s involved in the process of obtaining the cryptocurrency.
Walgreen said it will launch a bitcoin wallet in the first quarter of 2018.
Cvs, which has about $2.5 trillion in cash and short-term investments, plans to launch bitcoin debit cards in the second quarter of next year.
While both companies have said their payment systems will be open for consumers, there are some limitations that need to be addressed.CVS’ debit card program requires customers to verify their identity before they can use their card.
The card company also requires customers’ names, addresses and date of birth before it can process their transactions.
The CVS card is not currently available to the public, though Mullins told analysts the company plans to make it available through a partnership with a bank.
Walmart’s credit card offers a bitcoin debit card and will be available to purchase bitcoin in the fourth quarter of 2019.
But Walmart has said the payment system will be “completely open” to the general public, and that it has “no plans” to add bitcoin to the program.
The CVS/Walmart partnership will allow customers to make payments online, but there’s no word on when they might be able get to buy bitcoins.