Why Some Stores Accept Amex But Lack Apple Pay Support: Moneris

With the launch of Apple Pay in Canada, lots of new users are eagerly testing out the mobile wallet at their favourite stores. The big chains such as McDonald’s, Tim Horton’s and Starbucks are sure bets, but what about some smaller stores?

Despite accepting American Express, some retailers have tap-to-pay disabled for the credit card. What gives? We reached out to Canada’s largest payment payment processor, Moneris, to find some answers.

According to the company, 85 per cent of their terminals in Canada are capable of accepting tap-to-pay payments. Karen Cox, Vice President of Payments and Retail Solutions, explained to iPhone in Canada, despite some merchants accepting American Express, not all “have requested that the contactless acceptance be turned on. It’s not a default feature as not all merchants want the capability.”

Cox details merchants can do two things to support Apple Pay: request the ability to accept American Express if they don’t already and also request for contactless capability to be enabled.

Regarding Apple Pay’s launch in Canada, Cox described “it’s an exciting evolution,” and noted “Moneris will continue to work with our merchants to ensure they have the acceptance they want.”

So there you have it. Merchants need to enable contactless payments on their Moneris terminals, as it’s not turned on by default. If your favourite store accepts American Express but lacks tap-to-pay for the card, ask to talk to a manager and get them to enable it.

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

  • Ed Cicci

    Gary, am I correct in assuming from your post that Moneris is going to be proactive in this regard. Metro supermarkets here in Ontario is exactly this type of case. They accept Amex but have not enabled contactless payment so you actually need to insert the card in the terminal. I wrote to head office and was assured that someone would look into this.

  • Hi Ed, Moneris has been writing about Apple Pay long before it launched here, I am sure they are letting merchants know. But some probably can’t be bothered to enable it. Letting stores know is the best way and you definitely did the right thing writing to head office!

  • Crosseyedmofo

    had a fun time at an lcbo yesterday, told the old lady i wanted to try paying with my phone, to which she said “NO!!! WE DONT DO THAT HERE!!!”

    i felt like a child… scolded and sad 🙁

  • Problem is vendors or clients have been ripped off before with the regular tap to pay on cards with no security, I asked around a few places close to me in Vancouver why they don’t enable tap, I’ve heard “some people had paid with stolen cards before so we disabled”. But now that a secure way comes along they don’t look at it again, it will take educating vendors.

  • mxmgodin

    You should have just said “with Amex” instead of with your phone, and then sneak attack with Apple Pay.

  • Crosseyedmofo

    will do, she was old and probably thought i was trying to pull a “flim flam”

  • Salinger

    Gary, did Moneris give a reason why some merchants choose not to enable it? Is it an added cost? As Ed says, I also shop at Metro and it’s always been a frustration, even before Apple Pay. They accept Visa, MC and Amex; you can tap with Visa & MC but not Amex.

    Unless there’s an added cost to the merchant, there doesn’t seem to be a logical reason to enable for 2 of the 3 card types. Even if they felt usage would be low, why not just enable it for those of us who use Amex?

  • Rookie mistake dude, never mention Apple Pay or paying with your phone, employees have a fit when you try to dictate how to pay 😛

  • mxmgodin

    In this particular case, I don’t know, but some merchant have exclusivity deals with card companies. For example some will accept both Master Card and Visa for chip-and-PIN payments, but only Master Card for contactless payments. It happened to me at a No Frills store, recently.

  • Crosseyedmofo

    i know i know

    some folks get jazzed when you say phone though because they are equally curious

    must gauge audience i suppose

  • Mr Dog

    My AMEX has never tapped at their terminals so guessing Apple Pay wont work there either.

  • Crosseyedmofo

    my amex tap works (one inside yonge and eg center)

  • Bullite

    When I tried LCBO, 1st tap and pay work, with amex, but when I use apple pay it ask for the card to be inserted and had to enter the nip 🙁

  • Mr Dog

    Hmm! I wonder if they differ from stores.

    Myin has never worked. I’ll give it a try next time though, perhaps they added it.

    But like everyone said, just say Credit Card and then go tap.

    Side note: Airport Parking Machines accept Apple Pay too ????

  • fmgasparino

    I signed up for an Amex and now have it on my phone. Tried to use it since Friday on several stores. None of them worked and most of them were Moneris. I think we can’t consider Apple Pay launched in Canada. =(

  • Ryan Peterson

    How would this affect the vendors? They get paid regardless. AMEX would be the one dealing with the fraudulent charges, no?

  • Crosseyedmofo

    thanks for the protip man

  • Crosseyedmofo

    thats exactly what i get as well

    why does it work for tap with card but not phone?

  • Crosseyedmofo

    works at most places ive tried

  • Ed Cicci

    Sounds like Amex and all the terminal suppliers that are onboard with Apple Pay need to do a major education campaign if Apple Pay is going to be used. Otherwise even us confirmed Apple Pay supports will quickly give up until the banks get onboard whenever that decade comes along.

  • fmgasparino

    Where have you tried?

    I tried at A&W, DQ, Purdys, Donalds Market, Thomas Haas, Local Mexican Restaurant. I wonder if Apple now accept contactless. Few months ago they didn’t even have that feature… #noApplePayYet

  • It’ll work for sure at Starbucks and Tim Horton’s.

  • fmgasparino

    Starbucks is not a good place to try because they have their own system that works great for members. I will have to eat a Apple Fritter at TimHortons today… 😉 Thanks

  • fmgasparino

    If it doesn’t work: (?°?°)?? ? ??

  • Crosseyedmofo

    rexall, shoppers, loblaws, my local butcher… i do live in an area that is very amex friendly being said

  • Widohmaker

    Why doesn’t moneris just enable this as ‘default’ on all terminals instead of allowing retailers to make the choice. Most retailers and store managers are going to be ill informed on this topic from the getgo. The Kitchen Table has a store next to me. One of their terminals accepts tap and pay for Amex and the other does not. It’s idiotic.

  • Yeah, you do miss out on stars with Apple Pay, but if you’re really desperate to try it… 🙂

  • LazyGhost42

    ‘m trying not to laugh at the lack of intelligence after reading these posts. If anyone had a brain and was not such a Kool Aid drinking isheep you could’ve been using mobile payments a long time ago using your smartphone. A little research and you’d find out that you could’ve been using your apple almost anywhere you wanted too. I’ll let you figure it out while other apple users I know enjoy and continue to enjoy mobile payments. Remember smart devices are only as smart as their users…Oh and Amex should change their slogan to “Accepted almost nowhere”.

  • Salinger

    I believe retailers are on the hook if they accept a fraudulent card. The issuing bank would go back to the retailer with the customer’s disputed charge and if they can’t provide proof it’s a valid charge, which if it’s a stolen card they can’t, then they get charged back and that payment is deducted from their settlement from the card issuer.

  • LazyGhost42

    Actually you whining about something that you could fix by visiting a bank is idiotic. Lots more wrong with the world instead of your first world problems.

  • LazyGhost42

    Don’t worry you’ll get fat while you try it out at the places that work. Visit the bank and ask about your options outside of using apple pay.

  • LazyGhost42

    Exactly. Anything like that goes into disputes. You can get fined for not verifying the cardholder.

  • LazyGhost42

    Must run into all the wrong people. Been using mobile payments for 2 years now and only once was not once scolded. Only 3 places I’ve been haven’t supported tap and pay period. Besides a nice chit chat with her manager about her attitude might be needed ????

  • Crosseyedmofo

    there are options outside of apple pay, but apple pay is integrated, also troll harder

  • Widohmaker

    How does visiting a bank solve the issue related to this article? If you’re not interested in this topic that’s fine. No point attacking people partaking in a discussion because it doesn’t suit your weltanschaung.

  • LazyGhost42

    Pro tip: Talk to your bank about mobile payment options…walk away from Amex.

  • Crosseyedmofo

    ill stick to my amex thanks

  • scouse

    Any more news on bank joining in the fun? 1 week left until November is over, and the rumours seem to have dried up…

  • Cornfed710

    Why do you even comment here? Nothing out there beats ? Pay for ease of use, just used it it at Canadapost and McDonald’s today, worked amazing.

  • I’m pretty sure my bank won’t be able to offer me alternative mobile payment options as I’m not giving up my iPhone.

  • winnertakesteve

    Now I’m questioning why I bothered with the Amex application at all.

    I’ve been paying attention to what is supported at places I frequent and nothing seems to support it.

    I already have mobile payment for Starbucks and Tim Hortons, can order dominos from my phone already, and honestly i can do without any more fast food chains.

    The point was to make life simpler, and right now it seems like support is so scattered you have to plan your shopping around it.

    I am back to my original sentiment that this will fail if banks don’t support it, and the shitty support in its current state will not motivate any bank to change their stance. Disappointed.

  • Cornfed710

    Using ? Pay at Timmies is a million times better than scanning the Timmies app, I used to use that app all the time and I’ll never use it again as long as I have ? Pay. I just used ? Pay at Canadapost today and Shoppers Drug Mart.

    Of course it’ll be much better when visa and MasterCard are accepted, but we’ll have to wait for that.

  • winnertakesteve

    might be a couple fewer steps, and i’m no particular fan of their app, but its simple enough. also i can load tims gift cards onto the app, which i can’t do with apple pay.

  • Eric

    Just use Apple Pay to reload the card at the store. Then pay with your app.

  • Cornfed710

    I agree, it was fine. Now that ? Pays here, it’s terrible. I used to have the automatic loading set up from my credit card, now my credit card only gets charged the amount I actually spend on the day, much better than auto load, imho.

    Even if you only use it at Timmies, I promise you’ll love it compared to the app. It’s just so nice to pay without even turning the phone on, let alone looking for and opening an app.

  • winnertakesteve

    i think we have differing definitions of terrible. 😉 as i said, the app handles gift cards that i get from time to time, so if i want to use those up, i either have to carry the cards with me, or use the app. apple pay can’t help there. likewise getting free starbucks drinks means i’m not likely to switch to apple pay there either. to me those are more tangible benefits than the 3 seconds i’ll save by not having to launch an app.

    believe me though, i’ll be happy when the day arrives that i don’t have to choose! (and generally don’t have to carry my wallet 100% of the time because i’m not confident who will accept amex tap to pay on a smartphone!)

  • xeronine992

    Has anyone tried adding any other cards recently? My TD card used to say “The issuer does not support this card”, but now it simply says it cannot be added (like when trying to add an Amex prior to launch).

    I don’t know if it’s an important distinction, but something on the back-end has certainly changed!

  • Yes, we’ve seen the message change and some others have let us know too. Too early to tell if this is a sign or not, but definitely new.

  • xeronine992

    I’m only speculating, but I wonder if Apple is now saying “for cards that start with xxxx, route those to ” and are now hitting said bank’s servers but obviously isn’t set up on their end and as a result are getting the error.

    Has anyone reported a change for anything other than TD?

    So far RBC is still giving the original error.

  • ……

    CIBC giving the original error also

  • Ed Cicci

    Thanks for the tip. Signed up, got gas and by the time i got home there was an email confirming my $10 credit. Amex should have more of these. Only problem the terminal was not enable for Apple Pay but my iPhone brought up my Amex card as soon as I brought it close to the terminal.

  • Ed Cicci

    In one of the posts, someone gave a website where we can signal these kind of cases to Amex. The site is:
    takeamex.ca
    If we all did this, Amex might work with these merchants to enable their terminals for contactless Amex and hence Apple Pay transactions.

  • Cornfed710

    Good stuff, hopefully more people here take advantage