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Apple Pay Reportedly Being Pilot Tested by Canadian Bank Employees

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While we have Apple Pay in Canada for American Express cardholders, many Canadians are eagerly awaiting support from banks. While some may doubt Canadian banks are close to being on board, a recent leak by TD Canada Trust is the closest evidence we’ve seen of a ‘Big 6’ bank jumping on board.

Now, a Reddit user claims people he ‘knows’ that work at an unnamed Canadian bank are pilot testing Apple Pay with credit and debit cards. Here’s what user OhMiGodWeeee had to say, in his edited post:

Stop with the “Canadian Banks don’t want Apple Pay” posts. There is no proof of this and this is actually incorrect.

I happen to know people who work at a bank and are using Apple Pay right now with their bank debit and credit cards. Some banks already have the service up and running and only a select few employees are using it as part of a pilot. I can’t speak on all banks but usually if one bank is doing it, they’re all doing it (or will do it). The banks have to wait for Apple to give them the “green light” to release this to the public. I assume Amex was quick and easy since they support a smaller segment of the customers but banks with Visa and MC plus debit cards will need to negotiate additional details around the use of this service.

Stop jumping to conclusions. These banks employees (invoked with this) have signed NDA’s and can’t go around speaking about this and providing dates.

Just rest assured that this WILL be available to customers and the banks (I can only speak for a specific bank) will have the service available to the eager public within a couple months. Be patient.

Edit: had to remove some info

The response was made in a thread discussing how Canadians should “Submit a complaint to the Competition Bureau of Canada against your bank for refusing to support Apple Pay.”

We’ve heard whispers of BMO reportedly planning support for Apple Pay, while some have noted RBC’s online chat may have leaked upcoming support as well. Earlier this morning, it was reported banks in Australia had “effectively boycotted” Apple Pay, according to the country’s Reserve Bank governor.

We’re only 10 days into Apple Pay and the lack of Canadian bank support has made people go crazy. Definitely a case of #firstworldproblems.
Thanks @JXChain 

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  • Nick Cameron Greene

    To be fair, even if he is lying, he has a point. There has been no real proof that Canadian banks don’t want Apple Pay. Most of that speculation has come from this very site.. I’m sure there’s a lot more to this story than what that reddit user is saying, but even if he is wrong, he has a point.

  • Ed Cicci

    I’m all for fairness and respecting other people’s opinion but let’s not forget that for what it’s worth there was a Globe and Mail article that mentioned that the banks were the stumbling block for their support of Apple Pay launching in Canada. Besides, with hundreds of US banks and most of the UK banks supporting Apple Pay, what do the Canadian banks need to do other than work out the fees before they can adopt Apple Pay.

  • xeronine992

    What doesn’t make sense to me is he makes it seem like he’s in the loop based on a friend or something that works for a bank. Only to then make it seem like he works in retail and has only observed people using Canadian accounts on Apple Pay, only to dispel that thought.

    Like Nick said, he may be lying, but who knows. It is just a random person on the internet typing away.

  • Ed Cicci

    I may be missing something, but how can they test Apple Pay in Canada unless they either have an Amex card or credit cards from US banks that accept Apple Pay.

  • xeronine992

    I’m assuming if said bank is in contact with Apple they’re able to allow only certain cards to be added to Apple Pay. I remember RBC Bank in the US had certain employees piloting it before it rolled out to the general public.

  • Ed Cicci

    Thanks, good to know.

  • Mario Gaucher

    Someone working for/with Desjardins here in Quebec wrote to me that all Canadian Banks are ready for ApplePay… But they need time to finalized all details between them, Apple and credit card companies (VISA and MC). One of the points they need to resolve is the transaction limit of $100 for “tap” payments… Visa and MC don’t want to remove this limit… and Apple doesn’t want any limit since they believe that their system (Touch ID and Apple Watch) is secure enough to not have any limit. We should see ApplePay supporting other cards in the coming weeks…

  • Ed Cicci

    Is there a $100 limit in the US or UK? If not what’s the problem?

  • Mario Gaucher

    For Apple Pay, there’s no limit in the US (I don’t know with the card itself)… and in Canada, also with ApplePay, there’s no limit with Amex… but for Amex in Canada, there’s still a limit for “tap” payments with the card itself. I don’t really know the reason behind this… but maybe Visa and MC in Canada didn’t find a way to remove the limit for ApplePay while still keeping it on the “real” cards.

  • KS

    This may very well be true, which explains the error message “Could not add card. Try again later…” when some of us try to add a TD Canada Trust Visa card to Apple Pay. Giving the said Reddit user the benefit of doubt, TD Canada Trust may have very well allowed a certain number of its Visa cards to be added to Apple Pay, while revoking access to the rest of the general public for now.

  • Mario Gaucher

    I have the same message with both my debit and credit (visa) card from Desjardins.

  • KS

    Which means, it is not an isolated incident exclusive to TD Visa cards, and more than one banks are testing Apple Pay or are at least able to accommodate Apple Pay in their systems.

  • sully54

    For what it’s worth, the globe and Mail article you are referring to says that it was the credit card companies (ie: visa and master card) that was allegedly delaying widespread launch of Apple Pay in Canada, not the banks.

    My take on all of this is that Apple had previously made a deal with Amex that gave them rights as exclusive launch partner for Apple Pay. This possibility, coupled with the fact that banks have been silent throughout all of this (unlike in Australia, where the disagreements between the parties involved are very much more public and negative) leads me to believe that banks are waiting for Apple to give them the go-ahead.

  • dudemaster

    Except that Scotiabank isn’t allowing its AMEX on Apple Pay. The banks are involved in impeding Apple Pay – not just VISA & MasterCard.

  • ShaBi

    Doesn’t make sense why Apple would delay Apple Pay any longer. If it was up to Apple, they would green light Apple Pay from day f-ing one. They are getting a cut from the transactions, and delaying the service means delaying their profits. So, no, not Apple, but the banks are the problem. It all comes down to the fees.

  • It’s Me

    The thing is, I don’t know that anyone actually says that the banks don’t want it. But they want it only on their terms. And the problem is that the only way they could guarantee their terms was to group together and negotiate as a monopoly. If Apple could negotiate with each bank, as they did in the US and the UK, then one of two would likely concede to Apple’s terms and then the others would be pressured to follow.

    So, the problem is not that they are trying to permanently block Apple Pay in Canada, it’s that they are creating a bottleneck to delay it simply as a negotiating tactic, a tactic they wouldn’t have available if they fairly competed with each other for Apple’s business and each negotiated with Apple themselves instead of this anti-competitive cartel nonsense.

    They then blame Apple, at first saying “well, Apple Pay isn’t available in Canada so only Apple can say when it will be here” and now that it is here they we conveniently get leaks like the one saying “The banks have to wait for Apple to give them the “green light” to release this to the public.” which is again trying to push the blame for the delay away from them and onto Apple.

  • winnertakesteve

    Yeah this whole tone of “leave the banks alone!” is kinda ridiculous. If there is a hold up it is absolutely their doing. Now it’s totally their prerogative to try to look out for their interests and throw up roadblocks if it gets them better terms. But likewise it’s our prerogative as customers to advocate for a service that benefits us. So I’m not going to apologize for being critical of their year long negotiations.

  • Johnny S.

    I’ve already filed a complaint to the competition bureau. These banks are getting on my nerves with their arrogance

  • It’s Me

    Visa and MasterCard had no such issues with Apple Pay in the US and the U.K. No reason to think it’s any different here, that they’d contribute to a delay here. We know that elsewhere, like Oz, it’s the banks delaying it because they can. No reason to think it’s any different here.

    The banks here admitted to forming their cartel to negotiate with Apple.

  • It’s Me

    He doesn’t really have a point. It’s a straw man to say people are speculating the banks are trying to completely block Apple Pay. But it’s is the banks that are delaying it. That’s why they formed their cartel, so the could negotiate and play hardball.

  • John

    And didn’t the CEO of TD Canada trust say it will take at least a year for Apple Pay to come to Canada, when asked last year when Apple Pay was launched in the US?

    My take is the Canadian banks are making money hand over fist and don’t want to lose any potential profit to Apple.

  • Gumshop

    Be patient, haahaa, that’s funny. I have been waiting over a year now. Our banks don’t want to give Apple 15 cents per??? How greedy is that?

  • fmanowhereman

    There’s a limit on “tap” payments because there’s no security on the card. If they get your card they can tap you dry ( pun intended). Whereas with Apple Pay, you need your fingerprint to unlock the payment.

  • Guest

    I used Apple Pay at Petro Canada the other day and the total was around $75. They asked me to sign the receipt. Is it normal to sign for it if it’s above a certain amount?

  • xeronine992

    I love how on Twitter TD and RBC is dead silent since Amex started offering it. TD wouldn’t even respond to a message I sent them through their customer portal. RBC responded, and made it seem like they spilled the beans, only to follow up saying they aren’t in final negotiations with Apple.

  • KIII

    Most likely the attendant was being overly cautious having little experience with a new payment method like this.

  • KIII

    We went through all this a few years back with cable providers and iTunes rise in use. It’s just the banks trying to push back on the ground they’ve held with a set business practice for many years.
    It will take all of us on the consumer end to declare who the winner should be here.

  • Gumshop

    Too bad American Express has such a limited acceptance or I would have voted with my feet by now.

  • Ed Cicci

    What Petro Canada was that? Most of them here in Newmarket stopped accepting Amex several years ago unless they have changed their minds again.

  • KIII

    I hear you. When Apple Pay finally takes ground using every card it will be a very welcome change to purchasing anything.

  • Gumshop

    Yeah, no more plastic cards filling/wrecking my wallet!

  • Guest

    In Toronto.

  • Guest

    There was a line for the signature just like if I swiped my card instead of using my card’s pin.

  • KIII

    It’s most likely the staff hasn’t been properly instructed on how to handle it or they are being cautious with regards to backend office work.. Apple pay use is intended to have no private information kept by the merchant in the transaction.

    Just ask next time if this will be standard every time you pay this way or if head office has not set up a procedure for it.

  • dudemaster

    I have also filed a complaint with the Competition Bureau.

  • Mrleblanc

    In the US there is no limit, in the UK it’s was 20£ at launch (now 30£ and somewhere next year: no limit), in Canada there is a limit on tap-to-pay on all card but not with Apple Pay (at least for Amex) because of the security.

  • Mrleblanc

    Did anyone think that Amex might have signed a temporary launch exclusivity with Apple (in exchange of bonus cash to Apple) to boost their market share ? That happen and is called marketing, guys ! Just like games on PS4 and XB1 have sometime some temporary exclusivity to one console…

  • winnertakesteve

    Anything is possible, but I would say it’s less likely that apple would want to enter into exclusivity agreements for this type of thing, as adoption rate is critical to its success.

    There are already enough hurdles facing mobile payments. So many places I encounter have tap to pay capable terminals that are either disabled or broken. I’ve even encountered a place that said “tap to pay works, and we take Amex, but the two combined don’t work for some reason”

  • Mrleblanc

    Adoption rate is not critical at all… Apple Pay will become the norm in years with the help of Android Pay no matter what since they are more like partner than competitor in this area. Internationnal expention is already low but apple want to make sure it’s solution is perfectly riliable, secure and here to stay ! There were some major security problem in the US when the service launched since some bank didnt verify the identiy of the card holder when adding it in apple pay which allowed any thief to use the credit card without knowing the pin…

  • Mr Dog

    I think another hitch in the road for the banks is Apple likely requiring them to provide pending transaction information so that we can get a notification everytime it is used. AMEX Canada added this functionality a few weeks before they rolled out Apple Pay.

  • KS

    I like the way you think. Although it is highly unlikely as several statements/rumours coming from Visa and MC show they’ve been wary of Apple Pay since the very beginning. Also, if that was the case someone from Visa, MC or the Banks would have already disclosed this exclusivity deal, taking the “Not-my-fault” moral high ground.

  • Mrleblanc

    I’m not sure to understand yours, tho lol! MC and VISA are already testing Apple Pay because they WANT to support it and they already signed a deal with apple, but Amex probably made a bigger offer/check which got them a few weeks/months exclusivity. And when you sign a contract like this, there is non-disclosure agreement so they can’t say anything about it. In fact, most employee are probably kept in the dark about this and only people involved in the negotiation knows about it.
    Anyway, that’s only my guess…..

  • Ron

    Just called BMO and Royal bank to ask when they’ll be supporting Apple Pay. Royal bank had no idea what the hell I was talking about then put me on hold. Came back and told me they don’t plan having Apple Pay anytime in the near future. BMO told me they have no info when they’ll have Apple Pay and that they’re usually very slow to adopt new technology. Honestly I feel very discouraged looks like to me Amex will be the only one supporting Apple Pay for a long time. I hope i’m wrong.

  • Jon

    I have Apple Pay setup with my Amex card, and that is my default go-to credit card. Despite looking for it nearly everywhere (and I’m definitely looking at you Safeway!), I have used it ONCE, at IKEA of all places. Most places which accept Amex don’t accept Amex via Tap, which means that Apple Pay is next to worthless.

  • Gumshop

    sigh! I guess the banks can see there is no competitive reason to go with Apple Pay anytime soon.

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