CIBC Apple Pay Adoption “Quite Strong”; BMO, TD, Scotia Launch in “Several Weeks”


How popular has Apple Pay been since its expansion to CIBC and RBC just over two weeks ago? So far, so good, according to CIBC.

David Williamson, head of retail and business banking at the financial institution, told The Globe and Mail (paywall), adoption rate of Apple Pay amongst their consumers has been “quite strong”, while usage amongst those who have downloaded the CIBC app has been “very strong”.

The decision to support Apple Pay has had Canadian banks defending the decision to investors and analysts, as some fear Apple could interfere with customer interaction and also erode profits through interchange fees involved with the mobile wallet, reportedly at 15 cents for every $100 transaction.

When one analyst asked Williamson during a recent conference call why CIBC would let Apple get in the way of their customers, the executive reasoned banks needed to “evolve and adapt” to be successful, versus putting up barriers.

Williamson said potential fees paid to Apple could be made up through more transactions and volume, saying “[Apple Pay] is something that’s big as far as a development in how you pay,” adding “It’s big as far as the changing way that payments will be done over time. It’s not really big as far as an economic driver in our results.”

BMO’s head of personal and commercial banking similarly noted interchange fees would not impact revenue, while also expressing customer demand was a driving factor to implement Apple Pay, saying customers are “the ones who get to choose the way in which they want to make payments, and we as participants in the market don’t always get to choose who will be in and who will be out.”

Meanwhile, RBC CEO Dave McKay did not seem worried about Apple getting in the way of the bank, as the bank’s brand, product offerings, and trust and long-term relationships are “key drivers” against competitors and non-traditional rivals.

The Globe and Mail noted TD, BMO and Scotiabank will launch Apple Pay in “several weeks”. These remaining three big banks have already updated their iOS apps to note support for Apple Pay is coming soon.

The delay of Apple Pay in Canada, as noted by Apple, was due to barriers in integrating Interac to the mobile wallet platform.

Apple Pay will be coming soon for all, so stay tuned!


  • And this is why I switched 😉

  • I have been pulling out my wallet less and less, such a great feeling

  • Can’t wait to join the fun, stuck with Amex until TD goes live!

  • I had been with HSBC for a long time but Apple Pay got me to open a Tangerine account as I was betting they would support it early on, turned out not the right bet. But a Telus CIBC credit card I had and never used was the one that got me in early 🙂

  • 1His_Nibs1

    Guess it’s time to say F off to Capital One. Especially since it’s available to their US customers.

  • Kevin Lafontaine

    If Desjardins doesn’t get on board soon, I’m going to jump ship!!

  • winnertakesteve

    weird that most consumers were aware of this reasoning from the get go 😉 I eagerly await Td support since the Amex card I got has been beyond useless at the places I shop 🙁

  • Buddha

    It’s happening …. ????

  • canadan

    I’m loving Apple Pay. I use my Apple watch 99% of the time and it’s ridiculously fast and convenient. Never realized how many places have tap to pay. So far, it’s worked every single time except once where I forgot about the $100 limit. It’s my favourite Apple watch feature hands down.

  • TJ

    I would really like to use it with my RBC Visa, but was told my card is not supported. I’m a little confused. I’ve been using my AMEX exclusively now.

  • Dave

    According to someone on Reddit who says he’s a TD customer service rep, it’s going live on Tuesday May 31st,

  • fred

    Tried adding my TD Visa and got terms/conditions.

  • erth

    now TD is several weeks away? WTF?? i thought it was the beginning of June???

  • OliChabot

    Where is Desjardins ?

  • mrideas

    Getting terms and conditions on my scotiabank Amex!

  • mxmgodin

    I think that by saying “several weeks”, they’re only quoting the banks when they were saying that they would support it in a matter of weeks.
    Sings are pointing to a launch very, very soon for TD, Scotiabank and BMO. Maybe as early as this Tuesday.

  • mxmgodin

    They’re too busy not supporting Interac Flash, they don’t have time to consider Apple Pay.

  • Peter

    Any idea, why am I getting message “Tap not accepted” when using Apple Watch? It works fine with my iPhone. This happened at McDonalds and Sears with Moneris machines.

  • bbousquet

    Had the same issue at a specific McD’s. Terminal wouldn’t even detect the watch but had no problem with the iPhone. It’s hit or miss at that location because it worked previously. Faulty terminal?

  • Pan

    Have you tried a td access card aka td debit card

  • fred

    No, I haven’t yet.

  • John

    I got card not eligible for Apple Pay when trying to add my TD visa. Which card did you try to add?

  • John

    I tried my TD visa debit and got “your issuer does not yet offer support for this card”

  • johnnygoodface

    Me too I ran into the 100$ limit (100.01$!) but I was not aware that this limit was still standing, since Apple Pay is much more secure that using the credit card itself! Anyone else ran into that problem too?

  • johnnygoodface

    So far here are my results in Québec:

    Canadian Tires

    Not yet:
    La Source
    La belle province

  • JackD

    These banks not on board on time and investors of the banks complaining need to get there heads out of the sand. The banks that started out early with adoption (CIBC and rbc) are going to reap the rewards if the others don’t catch up soon.

    I’m dumbfounded as to why they wouldn’t have been ready when there competitors were. Esp. Of TD and tangerine like another poster.

  • It’s Me

    I thought the same thing. May 10th, that’s now closing in on 3 weeks, it was “within the next month”. A month is usually about a month. That leaves less than 2 weeks. But now it’s “in the coming weeks”. The remaining banks obviously have no clue whatsoever when they will launch.

    Over promise and under deliver. MO for Canadian banks and wireless carriers since forever.

  • johnnygoodface

    Indeed! Althought I don’t use my Visa Desjarding as often as my Mastercard… But Desjardins’s debit card would be great (use it where credit is not supported only)

  • John

    Now only if CIBC Petro Points MasterCard will support Apple Pay.

  • gerry

    I just love the fact that every time I use my apple watch to pay for my purchases, heads are always turned whomever is standing behind me. lol Even the cashiers.

  • Yah BMO lost me as a customer and I was with them I believe over 10 years, well worth it though 😉

  • Andre

    Was at Simmons in Sherbrooke,QC today and paid with Amex/Apple Watch for $250

  • OliChabot

    You could at Simons ? I thought no Simons had the Paypass enabled ? Stores in Quebec City didn’t have it not long ago when I went there.

  • OliChabot

    They are simply losing me as a customer as it’s now been 6 months since I am using American Express, that is accepted most of the time. Otherwise I use the Visa but they are losing money on me..

  • djepsilon

    I was told by an Apple Store employee that the limit is actually set by your bank and not the retailer. Gonna try calling RBC this week to see if I can get the limit lifted.

  • Scouse@Large

    That’s true. The Amex cards don’t have a tap limit… I paid $730 on it via applepay just last week. Love it!!

  • Andre

    Yeah, I asked the girl if they had tap and pay enable for Amex, and she said yes we do. Then she said, oh you have an Apple Watch, go ahead, try it, It’s gonna work. And it did. This girl was on the ball.

  • PanFriedTinnyjohn

    Same message for all of Scotia Debit, BMO MC, HSBC MC

    One… Moar… Dae…. until ApplePae

  • The problem right now is that most terminals can’t tell the difference between Apple Pay and using a tap-to-pay credit card. Folks in the U.K. already ran into that when it was launched last year, and apparently the merchant terminals need to be updated to support a new standard known as Consumer Device Cardholder Verification Method (CDCVM), which allows for that distinction between a Touch ID or PIN-secured transaction and a simple card tap.

  • In most cases the limits are set by the bank (Interac) or credit card company (MC/VISA). As somebody else already pointed out, AMEX has no limits, and neither do U.S. based debit/credit cards.

    Some retailers do set limits themselves, but I think in those cases the terminals just disable tap entirely, rather than trying to put it through and getting an error. The LCBO comes to mind — transactions over $100 will only accept insert or swipe — the “tap” feature is turned off. An LCBO manager explained to me that it was because too many people would try to tap anyway, get an error back, and then require the cashier to restart the transaction, slowing things down, since once it’s declined they have to reinitiate the payment process.

    Note that the banks won’t increase the tap limits in my experience — Interac Flash is controlled by the Interac consortium and I don’t think the banks get any say in the matter, and similarly VISA and MasterCard set the limits across the board on theirs. You might have some success if you have a higher-end bank account (e.g. “private banking” and such), but in the very least I’ve never had any luck getting TD or RBC to change tap limits for me — they tell me that they’re mandated by the card providers and there’s nothing they can do about it.

    FWIW, Costco does appear to allow for MasterCard transactions up to $200. I’m not sure if that’s a generic MasterCard limit now, or a special arrangement between Costco and MasterCard — seeing as how they’re in a special partnership. I’ve heard other reports that MasterCard is otherwise $100, much like VISA (and they all used to be $50, so $100 is at least some progress), but I haven’t recently tried a >$100 MasterCard purchase anywhere else, with or without Apple Pay.

  • danny

    have your tryed provigo???

  • Yup, most likely a faulty terminal in some form or another. I’ve also found over the past year that the Apple Watch is sometimes a bit more finicky about the range and angle of contact, and sometimes terminals get enough of a read to see something going through but some critical component got missed in the actual data transfer. I’ve had that happen with my iPhone a couple of times too, although it seems to happen less often.

    I find the best thing to do to avoid this problem is to try and hold the iPhone or Watch as steadily as possible and come at the terminal head-on, rather than trying to swipe your device “across” the face of the terminal.

  • John

    Wonder if TD will enable Apple Pay for tomorrow at mid night tonight?

  • John

    Apple Pay is coming very soon to TD, Stevie! Please download the latest version of the TD Mobile App to be ready. ^MH

    From TD Twitter account. So maybe tomorrow….

  • raslucas

    I have actually found myself not using it… It doesn’t work more times than it does…. iPhone 6. Not sure if it’s the merchants’ fault or whatever… Perhaps I just need to get used to the motion… Is nobody else having _any_ issues with it?

  • Never had any serious problems with it even in the beginning, although I guess there were a couple of failures back then — maybe one time in twenty or so — before I got used to it.

    It’s trickier with the Apple Watch because of the angles involved, but I almost never have problems with the iPhone, and I’ve been using it pretty regularly for over a year now. It does help to bring up the Wallet screen first and pre-authenticate with Touch ID, so that when you tap you’re not fumbling with it, and it’s also somewhat important to bring the phone directly into contact as perpendicularly to the reader as possible, rather than trying to wave or swipe it across the terminal.

  • Must vary from place to place. If anything I’m more surprised by how nonchalant most cashiers are here in Toronto — even last year when I first started using it, maybe one out of three would even notice, much less comment, but nowadays it’s like they’re not even paying attention ????

  • John

    Looks like we have to wait a bit longer for TD. 🙁

  • Peter

    Maybe later in the day.