How to Find Nearby Stores that Accept Apple Pay in Canada

For the longest time, Canadian Apple users dreamed of Apple Pay arriving, and those dreams came true less than ten days ago. Of course, despite the launch being limited to American Express, it’s a start, no matter how badly you want your bank to support it as well.

One problem with Apple Pay and American Express is trying to find a store that accepts the latter, plus also contactless payments. Major chains such as Shopper’s Drug Mart, Tim Hortons, McDonald’s, Starbucks and more support Apple Pay. But there has to be an easier way, right?

Below are some suggestions on how to find stores nearby that accept Apple Pay.

1. Download Pay Finders for iPhone

Created by payments industry veteran Brian Roemmele, the app lists businesses nearby where people can note whether or not Apple Pay is accepted. When the app first launched, it didn’t work for us in Canada, but now it does show stores nearby. One issue though, is the app shows stores that I know do not accept Apple Pay on the map, which can make things crowded.

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2. Download Locator for Apple Pay

This app says it supports the U.S. and the UK, but it also works in Canada. It lists Apple Pay locations on a map or within a list, and for the most part it’s fairly accurate. Users can add new locations and note whether Apple Pay is supported with ‘one step’, ‘more steps in transaction’ or ‘does not accept Apple Pay’. For now, the map only shows stores that support Apple Pay, which is preferable versus Pay Finders.

If there’s one app to crowdsource Apple Pay locations, this one looks to be it for now, until a better app comes along. Developers, this is your chance.

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3. Use Apple Maps

Yesterday we told you Apple Maps started showing Apple Pay badges within search result details. Again, this can be one way of discovering which locations near you support Apple Pay.

Apple Pay is still within its infancy in Canada, and it will take time for more retailers to accept contactless payments and American Express. Want your favourite store to accept Apple Pay and Amex? Talk to a manager and ask for it. Let them know it’s a selling feature for them to earn your business. Money talks!

Credit card processor Moneris told us previously tap-to-pay is not enabled by default for Amex merchants, as some stores don’t want it on. But the company did further clarify to us “we’re being proactive with any new merchant or existing merchant that wants to accept Amex to inform them of the benefits of contactless.”

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  • Gary Bowen

    Since I’ve got an AMEX three weeks ago, I’ve found *most* places accept AMEX.

    As the article says, some places accept AXEX, but they don’t have tap-to-pay turned on. I’ve simply written to the store’s head offices, requesting tap-to-pay is turned on; and some so far have responded saying they will look into upgrading. I suspect it will get better in the coming months.

  • letodax

    Now that we have Apple Pay, I’m choosing places that accept it over ones that don’t. Particularly places that don’t take Amex, I just don’t bother anymore.

  • Ed Cicci

    Downloaded Locator. Works great and add a store was easy.

  • tDotTo

    tried using it at a couple of Tim Hortons – the cashier looked at me like I was from Mars!! Guess it will take a few weeks before it rolls out to the retail maybe.

  • Haha…cashier reactions to Apple Pay are pretty priceless.

  • Corrode

    Pay Finders has a terrible user experience. The icons are unituitive, you can search in an area other than directly around you (at least I couldn’t figure it out) and if you want to simply add a business (the 7-eleven by my house wasn’t listed), then you have to fill out this big form. No thanks.

    Might give Locator a try but the UI looks awful.

  • SOB

    I haven’t had a cashier mention a thing whenever I use Apple Pay.

  • Don’t know what to say, other than “you’re holding it wrong”? 😉