Apple Pay has finally been launched in Canada. But the service currently only supports AMEX cardholders. Although its worth noting that cardholders of American banks works with Apple Pay in Canada.
Apple Pay is Apple’s quick payment method that enables for payment using the iPhone 6 and above’s built-in Near Field Communications(NFC) chip enabling a “Tap-to-pay” functionality. The service uses Touch ID to verify that its you making the purchase and furthermore stores your crucial card information in a part of the CPU called “Secure Element” and does not share them (and other important information) during transactions to merchants.
Apple Pay was launched last year in the United States with the United Kingdom receiving it earlier this year. So why did it take so long to reach Canada? Apple aimed to rollout the service in Canada in the month of November. Except Apple Inc., some of the top banks in Canada and major credit-card networks couldn’t reach an agreement soon enough for Apple Pay to have a wider roll out in the country. Furthermore, Credit Card companies like Visa and MasterCard are developing their own payment solutions similar to Apple Pay that they are looking to implement.
Apple, however was able to reach an agreement with American Express for the launch of Apple Pay in Canada. AMEX cards are issued only by two banks in Canada, Amex Bank of Canada and ScotiaBank which results in fewer than 10% of people being able to use Apple Pay right away. Nevertheless, Apple decided to forgo with its initial plan of launch despite delays from the banks reaching an agreement.
Currently, Apple Pay is supported exclusively in McDonalds, Chapters, Coles, Indigo, OntheGo, Tim Hortons, Petro Canada, Roasters, Staples and Apple’s very own stores. Stores accepting American Express contactless payments can also accept payments using Apple Pay. Apps like Uber, Kickstarter, priceline.com, Groupon, Fancy and so on also support Apple Pay during its initial roll out in Canada. Stores like Aldo, Pizza Pizza, Starbucks, ticketmaster, Domino’s will soon roll out Apple Pay compatibility as well.
Apple also launched Apple Pay in Australia with only AMEX cards supported for now and is looking to launch the service in China by next year.