American Express Pleased with Apple Pay in Canada, as Mobile Payments Increase


American Express was the first credit card to launch support for Apple Pay in Canada, paving the way for our big banks to adopt the mobile wallet last year.

Kenoy Kadakia, director of product and capability development for Amex, spoke with PYMNTS regarding mobile payments in Canada, such as the usage of Apple Pay.

Kadakia said American Express has been “pleased” with initial adoption rates of Apple Pay, while experience gained from the roll out allowed the company to help launch Amex Pay, its mobile wallet for Android customers.

“We had the benefit, as a global organization, to learn from our experience not just in Canada but around the world,” Kadakia explained. “And as a result, the ability of our customers to use the features, no matter where they are or how they are accessing them, and the ease of how they can set them up and get going using them — that’s what’s driving our mobile payments service.”

American Express expects mobile payments to continue to increase in popularity in Canada and globally, as they have already seen a surge in mobile wallet transactions, as more consumers get comfortable with paying with their smartphones.

Security is important to customers, and American Express says it deploys various methods to protect your data. Kadakia says they are “form-agnostic, so it’s the same security no matter how you are accessing the service,” which coupled with internal processing, they can review suspicious activity in real-time.

Recently, The Globe and Mail asked Apple about Apple Pay transactions in Canada. The iPhone maker declined to mention specifics, only to say “tens of millions” of people in 13 countries use the mobile wallet, with transactions increasing by over five times in the last year.

CIBC senior vice-president of innovation, Todd Roberts, told the Globe “The Apple loyalists and the Samsung loyalists were very quick to adopt, and we’ve seen very solid, persistent usage of the payment apps,” adding “We view this technology as a complement,” noting they never expected mobile wallets to replace traditional cards.

Apple Pay is fantastic—we just need wait for all retailers to adopt tap payments, as some smaller stores still do not. As Canadians continue to upgrade their iPhones to Apple Pay supported models (iPhone 6 or newer), that’s when we’ll also see a further uptick in adoption as well.

How often are you using Apple Pay?


  • Jensen

    I use Apple Pay daily! I’d say 80-90% of my transactions are Apply Pay. I really like the Apple Pay feature on ?Watch not having to have my phone with me when I’m on a run!

  • Andre

    Got tired of waiting for HSBC to get their act together. So I got a pre-paid Visa from Desjardins. I use both from my Apple Watch all the time.

  • Gerry Lee

    I have customers/cashier who see me pay with my watch or phone, their eyes just literally about to pop out of their heads.

  • Apple Pay is simply the best. I use it for 100% of all my routine transactions, and probably 90% with Apple Watch. It is so jarring when I can’t use it.

    I’ve learned to just say “credit card” when the clerk is at the point of looking at my hands searching for plastic. Works well. They just need to get that you’re paying with the card machine. Those that notice are always blown away.

    I stopped going to a coffee shop I always went to because when I spoke to the owner he said they’ll never accept tap (eye roll)

  • Gyarados

    Still waiting for Capital One to support Apple Pay lol

  • Jason

    I wish more companies and even provincial government would move to the mobile wallet I love being able to head out for a walk with kids. decide to grab some timmys or ice cream and not have to worry about heading back inside to grab the wallet. just pay with the watch and go

  • Chris

    I just upgraded the a 7+ (from a 5S) on Monday and finally got my first taste of Apple Pay. I added my CIBC debit card and used it a couple of times since. The experience was nice and smooth. I’m not sure if it would be faster to just use the tap feature on my card or not but Apple Pay is great for drive thru use as my phone is in the center console so it is easier to reach.

  • Dukey

    My biggest frustration is finding some tap machines that don’t support Apple Pay. Most gas pumps support Master Card, but not Visa. Thankfully, this problem is rearing it’s ugly head less often, but when there is a lineup behind me, I sometimes think twice about using Apple Pay at a new untested location.

  • Cornfed710

    Let’s go MNBA