AMEX Confirms Apple Pay Launch in Canada Set for Nov. 17

Ready for Apple Pay to launch in Canada? According to American Express, the service is set to launch this Tuesday, November 17, 2015. Customer service representatives we spoke with confirmed the date over the phone numerous times, and is in line with whatΒ you’ve told us as well.

Earlier this month, American Express started to inform customers β€œwe were unable to complete your request” when they attempted to add supported cards to their iPhones (U.S. region setting), a hint the launch was imminent.

The date would presumably be when the final release of iOS 9.2 will be out to support Apple Pay. The third beta of iOS 9.2 was released last Tuesday, November 10. Stay tuned, folks!

Founder and Editor-in-Chief of iPhoneinCanada.ca. Follow me on Twitter, and @iPhoneinCanada, and on Google+.

  • xeronine992

    Woohoo, just in time for my birthday!

  • ApplePay

    Excellent news! Bring it on AMEX (and screw you Canadian banks)

  • Jeff Artiss

    So excited for ?PAY!!

  • Brad

    This is all fine and dandy but retailers still need the proper hardware for AE and AP. Much more complicated than saying it will work out of the box, so to speak

  • DougFisher

    Since almost all Canadian stores have tappable terminals ApplePay should work no?

  • Bafoon

    yes – iPhone 6 and above…

  • Patrick Ducharme

    I don’t want a new Credit Card ! AMEX is not available at all retailers where some only accept VISA or Mastercard or both, but not AMEX…

    I want other canadian banks to adopt it! Let’s go Desjardins, RBC, Scotia Bank and all !

    My VISA OR Desjardins is ready πŸ™‚

  • TD let it slip not long ago that they’re supporting it soon, so it’s not just Amex.

  • stevenxu94

    but I don’t have amex and don’t intend to apply for one πŸ™

  • Patrick Ducharme

    I’m hoping for Desjardins. In QuΓ©bec, it would be huge to have them as it’s the most popular here!

  • I’d be surprised if the smaller banks get it anytime soon. I suspect TD, RBC and CIBC will probably launch very close together but I’m thinking considering how long it’s taken Apple to get things hashed out with the big banks here in Canada that the small banks aren’t coming down the pipes anytime quick.

  • SnozWrap

    I heard that this only works when you buy apples. What if I have more in my grocery cart at the A&P? I like apples, but sometimes I buy pasta and also soap. Do I have to pay for my apples separately with my iPhone first, then pull out my chequebook to pay for my pasta and soap? This sound like an epic FAIL.

  • KIII

    Gary is there any chance that Amex could be just a better go to option for ordering anything on the net outside of Canada? Maybe the banks will launch this week as well.

    And yes this is a far reach but Amex use with next to nothing fees for those international orders would be wild.

    .

  • sully54

    I’m still not counting out the big banks. If Amex was indeed Apple’s exclusive launch partner, I’m sure Amex would be touting that fact. But they’re not. No mention of exclusivity on their website.

  • Rio

    My guess is Apple is giving AMEX an early launch as a sign of good faith for their partnership since AMEX will help launch Apple Pay around the world much faster without banks.

    The banks will likely join AMEX by the end of the month as numerous reports have shows and the TD webpage leak.

    And AMEX did gloat a little bit: “Get excited! Amex Cardmembers will be the first to use Apple Pay in Canada.”

  • Rio

    Yes it sucks. Hopefully Apple teams up with Tangering bank too, then atleast you can buy your Apples and Tangerine on the same transition.

  • StevenUsernameMustBeUnique

    Still I’d be very surprised if TD supports apple pay on the same day. Don’t count on them, it feels better to be surprised than to be disappointed.

  • hub2

    A surprising number don’t, including many restaurants and big-name retailers. Maybe because their customers tend to pay more per transaction than cards with NFC tap allow?

  • winnertakesteve

    super disappointed that there’s no word on td. given that the original rumour was “late oct / early nov” its really starting to look like the original plan fell through. πŸ™

  • Cornfed710

    I can’t wait, people who don’t have Amex should apply for the simply cash card. I’ll be cancelling my airmiles Amex soon and getting the simply cash card instead.

  • bembol

    Not exactly the Company/Credit Card I was hoping only because it’s not widely accepted but it’s a start.

  • ticky13

    It is widely accepted though. This isn’t 1999.

  • ticky13

    Which big-name companies exactly? I’ve yet to come across a major chain that doesn’t accept tap.

  • SnozWrap

    Nice!

  • David

    Is it not odd that it apparently Amex announcing the launch date and not Apple themselves?

  • Andre

    Just for the sake of it, where could we go around Sherbrooke, Qc to try it out ?…Like big box stores, restaurant chains and the likes ?

  • Guest

    I applied for an AMEX card just so I can try out Apple Pay but when I tried to use my AMEX card this weekend, I could barely find a store that accepted it and I went to a variety of different stores too. I hope AMEX gets more acceptance throughout Canada.

  • xeronine992

    It’s more accepted than most people on the internet seem to think, but I think the tricky part is finding stores that accept NFC payments AND Amex. There are a few that come to mind (Metro, Sobeys, Petro-Canada, McDonalds, Tim Hortons). There are quite a few stores that take it but don’t accept NFC (Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Home Depot, Lowe’s).

    People like to throw the whole Costco thing around here a lot too, but in the case of Apple Pay, Costco never has and still doesn’t do NFC. Likely never will, given how much people spend per trip on average.

  • Andre

    Thanks for answering my question.

  • Corey Beazer

    Not going to get a new card JUST for Apple Pay…. Not yet at least. I’ll give the banks a month or two to get with the program.

  • jls

    Actually it isn’t accepted, lots of people still ask me if I accept AmEx. And only 4 million cards compared to 70 mil of visa/mc

  • DougFisher

    Home Depot and Walmart to name 2. Probably because they’re big USA companies who are behind Canadian times. Still, I more often than not come across stores that do have tappable terminals.

  • Tim

    This is why AMEX is stupid and Apple Pay does not yet matter in Canada.

  • ticky13

    Walmart certainly does accept Amex, at least here in Ontario.

  • Brian Flanigan

    Already have my Amex Simply Cash – ordered it 2 minutes after the announcement. I will stick with Amex until the end now….

  • hub2

    This sub-thread isn’t about if they accept Amex, but NFC.

    Gap and Old Navy also don’t do NFC.

  • mxmgodin

    To be fair, there as been no official announcement from Amex nor Apple. This is simply a customer service representative that confirmed that date to iPhone in Canada.

  • DougFisher

    Sorry, was referring to NFC, not AMEX.

  • Vito R.

    Why that one? I couldn’t figure out which was better and ended up going with their regular gold card.

  • Vito R.

    So did I, but ever where I normally shop takes Amex – who knew?

  • Vito R.

    I got it just for this. What’s the big deal? I think Amex will probably get an exclusive Canadian window – it will be more than a month or two before the Canadian banks come aboard.

  • Vito R.

    They will, but not soon. Apple didn’t make a big deal about Amex just to turn around and say now we have TD. I bet Amex will have exclusivity for a bit.

  • Vito R.

    I think that’s a misconception. That’s what I thought too, but after I got mine (just for Apple Pay) I noticed that it’s accepted everywhere I normally shop. The only place that didn’t take it was a little Chinese restaurant.

  • Vito R.

    Yes. That said, I had a problem with my new Amex and when I called this weekend I got an automated message that their systems were down. Also, unless Gary is lying, I find it strange that Amex reps would say it’s launching tomorrow if that wasn’t the case. I mean, this isn’t some super secret product release, so people that have to support it would know about it.

  • Vito R.

    I think it’s a carrot and a stick. The banks had their chance to negotiate a deal and they failed. Would make sense for Apple to tell them that if they aren’t in as an initial launch partner then they’ll have to wait until round 2 – whenever that is.

  • Vito R.

    That’s exactly why. US companies still don’t have chip & pin. They are getting the chip, but not the pin – they’re going to have chip & sign!

  • Unless I missed it Apple didn’t make a big deal out of this whatsoever – to the contrary they’ve been remarkably quiet about Apple Pay in Canada in general.

    As mentioned the cat is out of the bag that TD is supporting it before the end of the year so any exclusivity won’t last long

  • vertsub

    Actually Costco just transitioned to MasterCard this year and their partner is CapitalOne.

  • Rio

    I have the regular gold card for the past year and has been great thus far.

    The statement credits from promotions alone cover the yearly fee πŸ™‚

  • xeronine992

    Yes, I do know that Costco hasn’t accepted Amex since I think January. It gets brought up in every single Amex Apple Pay post on any site.

    I was simply pointing out that even if they did still accept Amex, it wouldn’t make one difference as far as Apple Pay is concerned, because they don’t support NFC.

  • Vito R.

    Ok, Apple didn’t make it a “big deal”, but Tim Cook did announce it during the most recent earnings call.

    Unfortunately you’re not correct – nothing is “out of the bag” and certainly not by the end of the year as TD didn’t announce anything. Someone took an a purported screenshot of Apple Pay coming to TD, someone at TD just jumped the gun (if it is even legit). If they had a deal, it would have been announced – the fact that they are instead launching in Canada with Amex means there is no deal.

  • vertsub

    fair enough. to be honest the bank of nova scotiabank sold me on the travel amex when I renewed my mortgage 3 years ago and apart from smaller restaurants, costco, lob laws; amex is accepted everywhere.

  • Duff

    This makes literally no sense. Only 2 million card holders in Canada and I can imagine less then 100,000 of those have the capability of Apple Pay and 3-10 vendors except Amex.
    On the flip side over 6 million visa & mastercards and literally excepted everywhere. Why the hell are the banks taking so long to get on board. ???

  • ticky13

    My bad.

  • ticky13

    Thanks. Got my comments mixed up.

  • Ed Cicci

    Because the banks are greedy and don’t want to give up their transaction fees and as well they don’t want to give up the data mining that Apple Pay does not have because Apple is interested in our privacy.

  • xeronine992

    Honest question.. What data mining? The banks still know who bought stuff from a particular store and how much it cost. It’s not like they’re left in the dark on this. It’s not like using Apple Pay is some anonymous shopping tool.

  • Jesse

    Are you talking about Apple or Google? πŸ˜›

  • Ed Cicci

    Apple.

  • Ed Cicci

    My understanding is that Apple Pay only authorizes the payment. There is no information of what you bought or what specific location you bought from. Credit card companies use this data to target advertising among other things.

  • xeronine992

    Having used Apple Pay with a US issued card, I can tell you that the bank still knows where you shop (the store name is on the statement). The only time Apple is involved is during the initial setup of the cards.

    Think about it logically.. They HAVE to know where the card was used, otherwise how would the store actually get their money.

  • Ed Cicci

    The Metro stores here in Ontario accept Amex.

  • Ed Cicci

    As an article in The Globe and Mail mentioned a few weeks ago, it’s not Apple that hold this up it’s the banks. They don’t seem to be interested.

  • xeronine992

    The date hasn’t been announced, but https://www.americanexpress.com/ca/en/content/apple-pay/ looks pretty official to me!

  • Rio

    You better be right Gary, this is the 5th time I’ve gotten my hopes up.

  • Crosseyedmofo

    this is the first time a confirmed date has been announced

  • Rio

    It isn’t an official announcement technically. πŸ˜›

  • I’m sure dates and such change and evolve. If you have an Amex you can call and verify this yourself too πŸ™‚ From what they have told me on the phone, the 17th is the launch ‘target’ date.

    Later in the evening I called again (hours after I first published the story and it picked up speed on other sites), but this time they had to check with a supervisor and could not confirm the date like they eagerly did earlier. But I still managed to get a confirmation somewhat off the record, because I’m smooth operator.

  • mxmgodin

    I meant there hasn’t been any official announcement concerning a launch date.

  • Andre

    Give the guy a break. If it happens tomorrow, it happens. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t. We all are gonna survive with no Apple Pay.

  • iPedro1000

    Where do you live? When I heard the news about Apple Pay via AMEX, I became more alert to look for American Express stickers at stores and regularly asked at checkouts where I didn’t see the sticker. In Toronto, I found it to be widely accepted.
    Shoppers Drugmart didn’t have the sticker but does accept it. Metro grocery stores and The Bay do too. Every gas station I’ve visited accepts it. It seems that only the mom and pop shops seem to not accept AMEX because of its higher transaction fees. I can shop at those places with debit or cash.

  • iPedro1000

    Why is it called Simply Cash? Is it still a credit card or do you have to fill it? I’d be happy to use something like that. I’d rather stay away from credit cards.

  • Cornfed710

    Because it gives you Cashback instead of Airmiles. Much better value. It’s just a normal credit card.

  • bb147

    the walmart’s in my area recently upgraded to all new pinpads with color (so much faster and nicer). it looks like they have NFC built in, I hope they enable it soon for Amex πŸ˜› wishful thinking.

  • Lots and lots of people saw the TD page, it was there, it was real. They’re not putting pages together on their website for nothing..
    and TD all but confirmed the “mistake” via Twitter.

  • Both Walmart and Home Depot now have NFC capable terminals after recent upgrades in the last 6 months, but NFC isn’t enabled at any of them yet. As someone else mentioned, their IT is still being dragged down by their US roots.

  • Vito R.

    They confirmed it was a mistake? Or they all but confirmed it was a mistake? Not sure what you’re saying… Point is, they have no deal, Amex does.

    The sooner more banks get on board the better, but don’t hold your breath.

  • Obviously you missed the coverage the day that whole thing happened…I suggest Google may be of assistance. It was a real thing. I saw it. They confirmed it but played it out as a “mistake” on their website, etc etc. Read about it.

    And I’m not holding my breath for Amex tomorrow either – I suspect this is another CS Agent who really had no business putting a date on things and now everyones running with it. I’ll be happy it it happens (Since I have an Amex), but it’s 10PM the night before it’s supposed to go live and not a peep from Apple nor Amex, not to mention that everyones phones would need a software update to even enable AP to begin with, something else that hasn’t been mentioned, much less happened.

  • Anyone else find it funny that it’s the night before this is supposed to go live and not a peep from either Amex nor Apple…and wouldn’t a software update need to be pushed out beforehand to even activate Apple Pay in Canada? No word on that either.

    I suspect tomorrow will come and go and these claims will turn out to be another classic example of a Customer Service rep who spewed forth misinformation.

    As an Amex cardholder I hope to be proven wrong, but it just seems totally unlikely that all the requirements and an announcement are going to pop out of thin air on a Tuesday morning.

  • Vito R.

    Actually I did read about it and I thought it would happen – then I read about Apple announcing a deal with Amex and not TD (Google it, that’s something that *is happening*) so I have since adjusted my expectations. You apparently have not…

    Not sure why you’d expect the software to go live tonight? If Amex support does go live tomorrow and it actually does need new software, then the software will be released tomorrow as well.

  • Applepay

    Just talk to the customer care this is a lie its not coming

  • Except based on everything I understand about how AP is activated, it will need an iOS update. That update would be iOS 9.2 which is almost certainly *not* going to be released tomorrow as it just went to Beta3 six days ago and AFAIK hasn’t gone to gold master and scheduled for release. Could be wrong, but AP activation in every other country coresponded to an iOS update in order to enable the related config screens for each country zone. As it stands currently you can’t even try to add a card to Wallet without switching your region to another AP supported country first.

  • Applepay

    Just talked to the customer service this is a lie its not coming tomorrow

  • JV

    Restaurants disable tap so that patrons will tip.

  • Vito R.

    I don’t know when it’s coming, it would be cool if it was tomorrow and that’s still a possibility (not that I trust iPhone in Canada as a reliable source of information). All I know for sure is that the day it does become active Amex is getting it and TD isn’t and it’s not likely that they would launch with just Amex if they had a deal in place with the other banks.

  • Nigel

    Sure it is.

  • Nigel

    It’s a soft launch and definitely possible in OS 9.1.

  • Nigel

    Wait until the afternoon. It’s not going to launch at midnight.

  • nigel

    All your numbers are way off.

  • exalted719

    Just activated my AMEX on my Apple Watch!

  • Rio

    GUYS IT WORKS πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

    I just tried activating my card and it went through. Even shows me last transition details

  • Rio

    I am sorry for doubting you Gary.

    Just activated my amex on apple pay πŸ˜€

  • Nigel

    Me too! I got a warning that said it was only available in the US and UK but it worked anyway.

  • Haha…I was just about to reply to you, Rio πŸ™‚ It’s all good, I just activated my card too πŸ™‚

  • Arshy

    did you change your region to United States or is it still Canada?

  • nigel

    It’s live so who cares about these peeps of which you speak. πŸ˜‰

  • Rio

    Changed it to United States to submit it and then back to Canada and the card stayed.

    Guessing it will show up in Canada too with 9.2 tomorrow

  • Arshy

    I just activated mine, but only after changing my region to the United States. Is this normal or did you guys just get it available using Canada region setting?

  • Arshy

    Same here! Thanks for letting me know though, I’m pretty excited for this

  • Only available when I changed it to USA as Canada does not show support to add a card to Apple Pay in wallet.

  • Jos

    How long did it take from applying for a card to receiving it in the mail?

  • Thierry Marques

    Ditto, AmEx activated using the US region and switched back to Canada after, still here! πŸ˜€

  • Thierry Marques

    Riiiiiight – not tomorrow, but today actually! πŸ˜‰

  • Update: Apple Pay is now live in Canada πŸ™‚

    http://www.iphoneincanada.ca/news/apple-pay-live-canada/

  • πŸ™‚

  • Vito R.

    It’s available right now, no iOS update require.

  • Having to switch to the USA for your region to make it work is an unexpected (and I would have thought, not functional) twist. But hey, I added my Amex..and it’s working.

  • Vito R.

    I didn’t have to switch my region to US. It works just fine set to Canada.

  • Wouldn’t activate for me while still set to Canada. Perhaps it’s because I have a very old card that’s set to expire in months.

  • You sure your phone isn’t already on USA? It’s listed as a required step before activation at this point. Not sure how you’re even getting to the Wallet “add a card” option without such as it simply doesn’t even show when set to Canada.

  • Without being set to USA the “Add a card” option doesn’t even show in Wallet, so I’m not sure how you managed that. You’re probably still set on USA from a previous attempt?

  • Vito R.

    My phone is set to Canada. Yesterday I didn’t have the option to “Add credit or debit card” and today I do. Why would you have to switch to US? As long as it’s not expired the expiry date shouldn’t be an issue. The only thing that was unclear was the “security code” which is the code on the front of the card. Whole thing took 30 seconds – so simple. Worked great at Tim’s while phone was off. Night and day compared to the mobile payment apps the banks have put out.

  • Youval

    Just tried it this morning at McDonalds and it didn’t work πŸ™