Canada an “Attractive” Market for Apple Pay to Demo Usage: Analyst


Apple Pay finally expanded in Canada yesterday to Visa and MasterCard (and Interac), with support coming from RBC and CIBC, while TD, Scotiabank and BMO are set to come on board in mid-June.

With Apple’s mobile wallet no longer limited to American Express, this is now Canada’s time to demonstrate our vast contactless payment infrastructure.

Rbc avion apple pay

Greg Weed, director of card performance research from consulting and research firm Phoenix International, told the Toronto Star Touch “Canada is attractive for Apple Pay,” adding  “It’s small but important for Apple in terms of showing how to build usage.”

Canada’s advantage, says Weed, is our vast network of terminals that accept pin-and-chip cards plus NFC for contactless payments, including Apple Pay, compared to the U.S.

Moneris, Canada’s largest credit and debit card processor, notes 85 per cent of their terminals are Apple Pay ready, with over 66 per cent of those merchants already processing contactless payments, saying “consumer adoption of Apple Pay is expected to increase significantly,” with this network in place.

However, last fall, the company told iPhone in Canada not all merchants have contactless enabled, because “It’s not a default feature as not all merchants want the capability.”

Although Weed believes Apple Pay in China will be the iPhone maker’s “big prize”, Canada can act as a marketing showcase for Apple Pay “that sorts out some of the problems they’ve had in building volume in the states.”

Apple Pay support from Canadian banks was delayed, according to Apple, because both parties spent more time to integrate tokenization for Interac, the debit card network from our financial institutions.

Sources told The Globe and Mail yesterday Apple apparently led Apple Pay negotiations with our big banks, with the latter agreeing to interchange fee rates similar to those accepted by U.S. banks.


  • Justen Bennett

    In my experience a lot of restaurants don’t enable contactless because many people bypass tipping on machine when contactless is an option.

  • Yeah, makes sense for restaurants to disable tap for that reason. But there are stores around here that take Amex, but have tap disabled. So puzzling. Don’t these stores know tap can make their lines move faster?

  • It depends on their terminal. Some of the restaurant’s that I’ve been to have the new TD terminals (the ones that talk to you in the creepy voice “Please insert your card”) that prompt for tip amount before card inserttap.

  • Knowing Amex, it wouldn’t surprise me if they charge extra for the feature.

  • Moneris previously told us tap for Amex is off by default and some merchants don’t want it enabled.

  • Yeah, I did know it’s off by default, which is silly enough I was being mostly facetious about them charging extra, but I’ve known several merchants over the years that have been frustrated by the higher transaction fees from Amex, and there was some nickel-and-diming involved in a lot of areas. Mind you, that was years ago, so things may have changed.

    However, in all seriousness, if Amex isn’t enforcing limits for tap-to-pay, I actually could see them charging higher transaction fees due to the higher risk of fraud, which is a common practice among all card providers. If the transaction fees are higher, that would explain why merchants wouldn’t want it enabled. This is entirely speculation on my part, of course.