Bell, TELUS, to Back Rogers’ Suretap Mobile Wallet: We Are “Going to Beat Apple” [u]

Last April, Rogers launched their ‘suretap’ mobile wallet which was only available to select Android and BlackBerry smartphones. The system uses NFC SIM cards along with compatible phones for mobile payments.

Screenshot 2015 06 22 21 35 47

Now, Bell and TELUS along with their discount brands Virgin Mobile and Koodo have announced they will back Rogers’ suretap wallet to take on the likes of Apple Pay and Android Pay, reports The Globe and Mail. The move comes ahead of an impending Apple Pay launch in Canada rumoured for this fall.

Jeppe Dorff, president of Suretap (and former Rogers executive) told the publication CIBC is the first national bank to back the mobile payment system, with additional banks lined up that may roll out later this summer and into December. Suretap Wallet was spun off as a separate company from Rogers late last year.

Dorff stressed the importance of a single wallet for mobile payments to take off “with all the content available to all Canadians.” He was also confident saying suretap will overtake any ambitions from Apple, noting:

“Having a unified, single place to store all your credentials is quite unique,” he said. “We are certainly going to beat Apple.”

Suretap will later support debit, gift cards, loyalty cards and digital coupons, as an all-in-one mobile wallet for consumers.

Robert Smythe, a mobile payments specialist from IDC told the Globe, said too many mobile wallets right now are “confusing for the consumer,” and even admitted “It’s even confusing for us because every day there is something new coming out.”

Suretap so far has signed on 30 retailers such as Forever 21, Groupon, Indigo, restaurateur Cara Operations (which operates Harvey’s, Swiss Chalet, Kelsey’s, Milestones and Montana’s) and Cineplex theatres.

With Apple Pay rumoured to launch this November and Samsung Pay and Android Pay on the horizon as well, the mobile wallet space is heating up in Canada. But for these non-Canadian companies, they don’t have the blessing of Canada’s big banks yet, like suretap. Back in 2012, Canada’s big banks and incumbent wireless carriers agreed on a mobile wallet standard and decided on NFC SIM-based solutions.

Suretap has CIBC on its side while TD Bank (whose mobile payment solution already supports Rogers) and RBC will most likely follow suit (they launched their mobile wallet with Bell last year), because in Canada banks, like wireless carriers love to make moves in unison.

Suretap’s president seems very confident they will beat Apple Pay (file this away as a John Gruber ‘claim chowder’), but the problem is their mobile payment solution doesn’t support the iPhone, which is extremely popular in Canada. Canadians want Apple Pay, but the decision ultimately lies with our big banks to support it.

Update: Here’s Bell’s suretap video posted this morning:

TELUS sent us the following statement via email:

With suretap mobile wallet, now available for TELUS customers, we are helping simplify the way customers shop and pay every day. As you know, TELUS is obsessed with improving the customer experience and helping customers maximize the use of their smartphones with value added services that make their lives easier. With suretap, TELUS is enabling its customers to take the next step in mobile wallet transactions while offering an experience that is secure, simple and convenient.

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

  • sukisszoze

    The carriers must really do not like Apple. At least make a version for iPhone. Why limit yourselves to Android and BB?

  • Their mobile wallet solution relies on an NFC-SIM card, most likely iOS has API limitations on what they can access to implement their wallet. The first Canadian bank to launch Apple Pay will get tonnes of new business.

  • Well seeing as how this is only available to Android customers with some Samsung phones, that’s not really going to work for Apple’s iPhone customers anyway. Will that lure customers away from their iPhones with Apple Pay? I don’t think so.

  • Shane

    “We will beat apple pay”

    Lol they’re actually serious

    Final words. RIP suretap. Days are numbered

  • FragilityG4

    The banks are only concerned with the bottom line. Once Apple Pay is available up here I’m sure they’ll all sign on because there are too many iOS customers to pass up.

  • Farids

    We should not forget we live in Canada: the banks and big boys are going with a solution that’s not iphone and Apple compatible, smaller businesses and the middle class are going to favor the iPhone and Applepay, the government is going to swing between the two, and we are going to continue using our leather wallets and debit cards well into the 23rd century 🙂

  • Techiefreak

    Why complicate things by having 2 NFC chips on a smartphone? Android phones have had NFC chips on them since the Nexus S (at least). Use the KISS principle here folks! Once Google Pay and Apple Pay hit the Canadian market, this SIM card idea will die of natural causes.

  • Dave

    And we all trust our Canadian Carriers because they treat us so fairly, not! I for one would not trust one of the big three with a payment solution.

  • Vieux

    The Big 3 are dinosaurs.
    C’mon Apple, start your own network!

  • Peter Pottinger

    I have the sim but can’t add my pc mastercard, and my scotiabank visa wont add even if it says scotia is supported.

  • erth

    why does canada always do this to itself?

  • It’s almost excusable that they used NFC SIM cards originally as Android really wasn’t ready to handle NFC payments, but now that Android supports Host Card emulation, there’s no excuse to be moving forward with NFC SIM cards. I sincerely hope that Google can land some deals soon in Canada with banks using Android Pay. Of course Apple will bully themselves into position where the platform restricts other players anyway, so Suretap sounds like a sure failure.

  • Geoffrey Spencer

    I will use Apple Pay, PayPal, Google Wallet but never the carriers for me. Screw off Bell and Rogers.

  • Geoffrey Spencer

    If my bank, Scotiabank, will not support Apple Pay then I will switch to a bank that does.

  • Yeah, um, good luck with that, be sure to let us know how that works out for you. Assuming we don’t read it in tech journals first. I have zero desire for SureTap. I DO have desire for ApplePay, because I already have an iPhone and it’s built in. Sorry, but independent wallet systems are not going to take off, ever, because brand-specific wallets (like ApplePay) will come with the platform and thus are the most convenient– and when it comes to paying for things, you want speed and convenience above all else. SureTap won’t be delivering that.

  • iverge

    I’ve lost count how many times Rogers has come knocking asking for my business to join their Vicinity loyalty program and now this… my customers HATE Rogers, Bell and Telus as much as I do!

    Besides Apple Pay will work when I take my phone to USA or UK… SureTap will NOT.

  • Rio

    Oh my. lol

    They will beat Apple by not supporting the iPhones? 😛

  • Eastvanfan

    People should wait longer to implement these solutions. They sound great but the fraud rates are still higher than through credit and debit cards. The current credit card and debit card fraud rate are around 1% but the Apple Pay is around 6%, Android Pay is still in its infancy and the rates haven’t been published. One of the main reasons for this is the Apple is now entering into a market which involves the banking world for which the bank work together in networks and Apple isn’t used to working and negotiating with them.

    Canada has been known to follow the EU in credit card fraud protection, the worst is the USA. The lesson is to just wait until the kinks in credit/debit card security are ironed out with smartphones, rather than being an early adopter, because you’ll also be more likely to be a victim of fraud.

  • CanucksGoals

    And you trust a U.S. company that manufactures its products offshore to third world countries. Also for the fact that it likes to sue everyone that get in its way. Think about how Apple become such a monopoly already and having success on Apple Pay will just take it to another level. I hope Google comes in to play.
    I am using iPhone 6 to type this and have owned every version of iPhones since iPhone 3. We like to drop bombs on any Big 3 news as many we could but this is getting crazy.

  • The difference is with Apple Pay, Apple does not share your shopping data as it’s all anonymous. This is one part why banks are resistant to Apple Pay, as they lose out on customer shopping habits.

  • Can’t wait to see Apple Pay debut when my kid turns 19.

  • CanucksGoals

    Nothing is really anonymous on the internet. Even if it is now, what makes you think Apple won’t turn around and change it once Apple has enough users to dominate. I am not against Apple Pay or Suretap. More competitions the better to keep each other in check is a good thing. 🙂

  • Shawn Zeek Clarke

    Ha! I don’t even trust them to automatically debit my bank account for my monthly bill let alone handle my daily spending. I can’t wrap my head around the fact that there are people making a lot of money that are making such terrible decisions. The time, money and effort that’s going to be wasted on this is astonishing. The best chance anyone had at beating Apple and Google at this would have been to get there first and to get it right, not show up late to the party and then band-aid together some make-shift less convenient purpose defeating non-solution. *sigh*

  • Tim Cook has been trumping privacy and protecting user data as one of the company’s core values. There’s no way Apple would turn around and sell our data. As they stated with Apple Pay, even Apple doesn’t know what you’re buying, where you’re buying it or what you spent.

    And I completely agree, this launch is a good thing for everyone, as it’s going to make Apple, Google and Samsung try even harder to enter Canada.

  • erth

    if we act like a small country, we will always be a small country.
    think BIG (big banks…)

  • Michal

    more like SureFAIL 🙂

    if anyone can pull this off it’s going to be Apple or Google

  • Widohmaker

    This is ginormous waste of resources and time. Apple Pay has massive traction and an already high level of trust, not to mention seamless integration with iOS.

  • definingsound

    I have a credit card that I can use to pay, by holding it close to the terminal. Only purchases over $50 require any data input from me. These new, alternative, not-yet-available solutions (Apple Pay, SureTap, Google Wallet) let me set up my credit card with my battery operated phone, so that I can pay by holding my phone close to the terminal.

    Some people here are so exciting about paying with a battery operated phone, as opposed to the actual credit card itself, that they would switch banks to enable themselves to do that.

    Can someone describe the benefit to using my 140 g phone that lives on batteries, instead of using a 5 g credit card that lives in my wallet?

  • Apple Pay is convenient for those times you don’t have your wallet with you (say, if you’re out for a run, or if you forgot it by accident). Also the convenience of paying with your phone at the checkout, as most people are already holding it to pass the time waiting in line anyways.

  • James

    Awesome (said no one ever) I hated Suretap!!!

  • Joe

    It’s pretty interesting that the Big 3 see Apple as the company to beat, even though Apple Pay launched just 8 months ago and is only available in 1 (soon to be 2) countries.

    I guess they learned their lesson from when the iPhone came along and changed the entire landscape of consumer demand. However, like almost everything they promise (lower prices, more choice, better solutions for Canadians, etc.), this is going to be another failure on their part.

    I guess the good news is that when this fails, Canadian consumers won’t be the ones who suffer because the smart ones will be happily using Apple Pay. Usually when the Big 3 fail, the consumers are the ones who suffer because we have no other choices.

  • Joe

    The goal here is to ditch the wallet entirely. Leave the plastic at home and just use the phone.

    Of course, we’d have to get ALL our IDs on the phone first, which means we need the government to step up in addition to the banks… but still, this is the goal.

  • sukisszoze

    Oh..we will be paying for them with higher fees for sure..just a matter of when.

  • winnertakesteve

    Wow way to kind of implicitly admit collusion you turds. Apple pay negotiations dragging and a bunch of powerful lobbying bodies proudly crow about how confident they are that their shitty offering will win.

  • definingsound

    Whose goal? The phone hardware manufacturer, or the carrier? The goal is such that if a Constable requires proof of identification, that a person will have to hand over their phone? No thanks!

    Payment by using a new device solves a problem that has already been solved. In the case of credit cards, a new problem was solved (no liquidity). In the case of debit cards, a new problem was solved (no physical cash). In the case of phone payments, the only “problem” that you have suggested to be solved is that of carrying a wallet. I would posit that a wallet is less of a problem than a larger, heavier, battery operated, location-limited device.

  • sukisszoze

    This reminds me of mobile wallet, Softcard, a joint venture of the top US mobile companies (T-Mobile, Verizon, AT&T). It started laying off staff earlier this year. So if Softcard can’t compete in the US using NFC, the chances of Suretap getting this to work is pretty low.

  • Jason C

    Ditto. Hopefully CIBC supports Apple Pay as well.

  • Jason C

    Suretap sounds so simple, why wouldn’t it work? All you need to do is, have a supported Android device, buy a new sim card, download the app, add a payment card, find a retailer that supports it…

  • makeittalk

    Beat Apple Pay! YES! Of course!! We will get everyone to switch to Samedung phones…Right. That will happen.

    I wan’t some of what they’re smoking.

  • artikas

    Open Suretap app, wait for it to load, tap on some random icon for it to communicate with merchant, transfer transaction history to rogers, bell and other users so they can monitor your purchesing habits vs take out phone, place finger on fingerprint reader, done.

    Sure you’ll beat ApplePay…..

  • artikas

    Oh Canada