TD Bank CIO Predicts Apple Pay Launch in Canada “At Least a Year Away”

The third annual Mobile Enterprise Canada Summit started yesterday in Toronto and was kicked off by Jeff Martin, vice-president and CIO of Direct Channels Technology Solutions at TD Group, where he told the audience the company has some unique mobile solutions lined up for customers. He also had time to talk about Apple Pay, the upcoming NFC mobile payments solution from Apple.

Martin spoke about an ongoing pilot project where TD employees armed with tablets have been able to setup pop-up style branches at malls and even within retail stores. These mobile branches, according to the CIO, have employees selling 2.5 times more products per customer on average and is always a way to generate new client leads.

As Martin says, “Customers really liked the idea of interacting with a tablet in a friendly way and a human who’s helping them. . . the bank branch doesn’t have to be the bank branch that you think of today. The branch can be right here. It can be everywhere,” according to ITWorldCanada.

TD Bank’s mobile apps were recently updated to support photo chequing deposits, joining CIBC and Tangerine, plus other credit unions in launching the service.

Apple Pay Won’t Be Coming to Canada That Quickly

Martin also addressed Apple’s new NFC mobile payments system, Apple Pay. He says the bank is closely watching developments, but also reiterated the U.S. and Canadian banks are different in the way credit card and debit transactions are handled. Down in the States, banks can make fees off debit transactions, opposite of what Canadian banks are able to charge. For this reason alone, Martin opines Apple Pay is “at least a year away” from coming here.

He emphasized regulatory issues will have to be played out, but was also quick to mention TD Bank has their own mobile wallet that “can do what Apple Pay does”:

“There are a lot of regulatory things they will have to work out,” he said, pointing out that Canadians are not without their options. “We have a mobile wallet. We can do what Apple Pay does. You could have done it a few months ago.”

The CIO also stated security is paramount when it comes to mobile payments, sharing how he was working “on the phone” over the weekend to ensure systems were patched and updated from a recent Bash vulnerability in the UNIX command shell.

TUAW earlier today took an in-depth look at Apple Pay and how it aims to secure mobile payments. Apple will surely learn from its first Apple Pay implementation in the U.S., rumoured to go live on October 20 with iOS 8.1.

As for the rest us waiting for Apple Pay—it’s going to take a while to get to Canada. As Martin noted, regulatory issues take a long time to hash out here, so don’t hold your breath for an instantaneous debut.

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  • Chris

    TD doesn’t know what they’re doing in regards to mobile payments. They only accept a very few amount of Android devices (Nexus 5 isn’t even included). Sure, technically you are able to pay with TD and NFC. But they’re not doing it the “right” way.

  • ericzchu

    TD better start looking at Apple Pay. I interact with my phone more than with my bank. I have no issues to take my money to the bank that supports Apple Pay.

  • andrewe

    These comments by TD Bank’s CIO are disappointing, but possibly very ignorant too. Take this line for example: “We have a mobile wallet. We can do what Apple Pay does.”

    No, you are not doing what Apple Pay will do, TD — and that is exactly why adoption of TD’s mobile wallet and NFC payments are so low. To use one of the “mobile wallets” from by a Canadian banks and/or wireless carrier, you need to have the right Android phone with NFC, the right credit card, and a new/special carrier SIM card.

    It’s not at all easy, and I hope our banks realize this.

  • Rio

    +1 Seems very ignorant.

    They can barely put together a decent app, he should not be talking about their mobile offerings.

    The only bank that I have some hope in is, Tangering.

  • sukisszoze

    I guess TD is technically correct in saying “we can do what Apple Pay does” and I can say my cash “can do what Apple Pay does” too – to pay for your stuff…but the similarities end there!

  • johnnymoy17

    I’m with TD but whatever bank supports Apple Pay first will get my accounts.

  • OliChabot

    I’d be really disapointed if it doesn’t come to Canada soon, as it is one of the reasons that got me the iPhone 6.

  • To be a fly on the wall during talks with Apple and the big banks…

  • Waibashi

    Called it.

    But seriously. First Bank that releases mobile payment will get a boost in customers enrollment.

    One thing will be for sure, desjardins will be dead last adoption get it. I mean… We just got EMT

  • Z S

    Not surprising. Our financial system is already leaps and bounds ahead of America’s, anyways. If Apple’s smart, they’ll make a deal with Interac and just turn our phones into Interac Flash devices.

  • hub2

    My order of preference is credit card > cash > debit/Interac. Apple pay as advertised would be perfect for me, an NFC direct link to my bank account would not.

  • Crosseyedmofo


  • Salinger

    So, TD can do what Apple Pay can? Okay TD, I want to put my American Express card or Capital One Aspire as my preferred cards to pay for purchases. How exactly do I do that with TD?

  • gabriel

    No – you are not doing (currently) the same what Apple pay can do and you will never able to do it.
    If I go to pay and put my NFC iPhone to reader, apple will never start your application. You will never support credit cards from other banks in your application. So your comment mr. big bank CIO is full of …..

    Also I am not sure if you send only a token about payment, or you send full credit card information – card#, name, expiration date and cvv. That would mean that if somebody steal that info I have to get a new card – lets not talk about the name and address…..

    As opposed the apple solution will provide a token to the seller and if the information is stolen, then my card, name, address is not compromised. That is HUGE difference.

    Your solution is closed to apple solution as paying by cash is. (As somebody already mentioned)

    I also have no issues to take my money to the bank that supports apple pay.

  • erth

    banks need to focus on their strengths, and cell phone apps are not one of them. If i was in charge or the cio of td canada trust, i would be signing up with this first in canada to show that we are progressive.

  • Eric

    yet why do we have to pay $2 for EMT.. it should be free across people of the same bank 🙁

  • You’re talking apples and oranges here…

  • sukisszoze

    Good one 🙂

  • Kirk

    Damn. Not surprised with these comments from TD. I mean, look how long it’s taking for us to get iTunes Radio… That sucks. Hopefully things change.

  • FearlessTech

    I bank with TD and have not heard of their “mobile wallet and frankly don’t care to use it. I am looking forward to Apple Pay when it gets implemented in Canada. Whoever implements Apple Pay first in Canada will get my business.

  • grmonte

    First bank that makes Apple pay available in Canada I’m moving to them.

  • Kisai

    Yeah, I’d take my money to the first bank that offers Apple Pay.

  • md

    I have a good friend who works for apple and told me apple pay will “work” in canada since we have pay pass and nfc payments already available. It just a matter of getting the update. He was here this week and tried it at many retailers and it worked everywhere already. I will be momentarily switching to the american apple store to download the update today.

  • vermie

    If you are using a credit card issued from a supported American bank, it will likely work. It will not work for any credit cards issued by Canadian financial institutions.

  • Discus

    I just wrote to CIBC to ask them to bring ApplePay to Canada.

  • Manny12

    I did the same for Tangerine… the CEO said “No plans for Apple Pay in Canada quite yet.”

    So disappointed! Canada is always last to know what consumers want.

  • 1st insert bank name here + apple pay support = my business

  • Tina

    The issue is fee regulation. The banks have not found a way to generate a fee from each transaction (that is aloud by canadian regulators) that is why it will not come here.

  • blacks329

    I only want it for my credit cards anyways, which they already make fees off of. I don’t care if my debit card is available on Apple Pay. My credit card is a deferred debit card with points, why would I pay for anything with my debit card?

  • Michael

    it works already. Just a matter of banks allowing cards to be added to Passbook

  • Kelley

    The real question people are not asking is what businesses in Canada are on board with apple pay. From what I gather the rollout in the States had the merchants footing the bill for the hardware as well as the training of their staff. Many of those merchants did not see any tangible benefits from adding Apple pay so are reluctant to get on board. Unless the merchants see solid proof that they would benefit from Apple pay what would be their motivation? From the way it appears in the States the only ones that get a direct benefit from Apple pay are Apple and the credit card companies.

  • Kelley

    So it doesn’t matter which if any merchants are on board with it you’d still switch banks to use Apple pay? Doesn’t matter which banks offer Apple pay if few businesses get on board with it. That’s the problem they are having with the roll out in the states. What good would Apple pay be if only 30%-40% of the businesses accept it? You would then still need to carry your debit and credit cards. Looks like most people posting here should take a little time and research the topic and the hurdles Apple pay needs to overcome or work out. They especially need to look at ways to motivate the merchants to get on board with it. The credit card companies and banks will always go where the money is.

  • Right now, plenty of major retailers in Canada already are capable of accepting Apple Pay. As long as their POS terminals have NFC and accept tap payments such as PayPass, MasterPay will work. If you take a look at the PayPass network nationwide, it’s available everywhere.

    After testing Apple Pay in Canada, the easy way is to just tell the employee you’re paying by credit card, then go ahead and use Apple Pay. If you mention Apple Pay, they won’t have any clue what you’re talking about.