Last April, Rogers launched their ‘suretap’ mobile wallet which was only available to select Android and BlackBerry smartphones. The system uses NFC SIM cards along with compatible phones for mobile payments.
Now, Bell and TELUS along with their discount brands Virgin Mobile and Koodo have announced they will back Rogers’ suretap wallet to take on the likes of Apple Pay and Android Pay, reports The Globe and Mail. The move comes ahead of an impending Apple Pay launch in Canada rumoured for this fall.
Jeppe Dorff, president of Suretap (and former Rogers executive) told the publication CIBC is the first national bank to back the mobile payment system, with additional banks lined up that may roll out later this summer and into December. Suretap Wallet was spun off as a separate company from Rogers late last year.
Dorff stressed the importance of a single wallet for mobile payments to take off “with all the content available to all Canadians.” He was also confident saying suretap will overtake any ambitions from Apple, noting:
“Having a unified, single place to store all your credentials is quite unique,” he said. “We are certainly going to beat Apple.”
Suretap will later support debit, gift cards, loyalty cards and digital coupons, as an all-in-one mobile wallet for consumers.
Robert Smythe, a mobile payments specialist from IDC told the Globe, said too many mobile wallets right now are “confusing for the consumer,” and even admitted “It’s even confusing for us because every day there is something new coming out.”
Suretap so far has signed on 30 retailers such as Forever 21, Groupon, Indigo, restaurateur Cara Operations (which operates Harvey’s, Swiss Chalet, Kelsey’s, Milestones and Montana’s) and Cineplex theatres.
With Apple Pay rumoured to launch this November and Samsung Pay and Android Pay on the horizon as well, the mobile wallet space is heating up in Canada. But for these non-Canadian companies, they don’t have the blessing of Canada’s big banks yet, like suretap. Back in 2012, Canada’s big banks and incumbent wireless carriers agreed on a mobile wallet standard and decided on NFC SIM-based solutions.
Suretap has CIBC on its side while TD Bank (whose mobile payment solution already supports Rogers) and RBC will most likely follow suit (they launched their mobile wallet with Bell last year), because in Canada banks, like wireless carriers love to make moves in unison.
Suretap’s president seems very confident they will beat Apple Pay (file this away as a John Gruber ‘claim chowder’), but the problem is their mobile payment solution doesn’t support the iPhone, which is extremely popular in Canada. Canadians want Apple Pay, but the decision ultimately lies with our big banks to support it.
Update: Here’s Bell’s suretap video posted this morning:
TELUS sent us the following statement via email:
With suretap mobile wallet, now available for TELUS customers, we are helping simplify the way customers shop and pay every day. As you know, TELUS is obsessed with improving the customer experience and helping customers maximize the use of their smartphones with value added services that make their lives easier. With suretap, TELUS is enabling its customers to take the next step in mobile wallet transactions while offering an experience that is secure, simple and convenient.