Google’s own mobile payment system is making its debut in Canada this week, while enjoying support from several major banking institutions based in the Great White North. The launch of Android Pay in Canada was actually teased by the tech giant during its recent I/O developer conference held a few weeks ago, and according to a report recently published by MobileSyrup, the Canadian roll out of Google’s contactless mode of payment was expected to happen.
As Android Pay launches in the Canadian mobile market this week, it has garnered support from MasterCard and Visa credit, and also from Interac debit cards (beginning on June 5th of this month) from premiere countrywide banking names such as BMO, CIBC, and Scotiabank, plus other smaller regional and specialist financial entities like ATB Financial, PC Financial, Desjardins, Banque Nationale, and ATB Financial. This means that Canadian mobile users who own handsets powered by Android 4.4 (or any later version) will be able to add cards from these banks and firms, and of course, facilitate mobile payment transactions at any compatible, tab activated point of sale terminal, which are pretty common in the country.
As for American Express and Tangerine, Google has stated that these two will be supporting Android Pay in the next few weeks or months. Notably absent from the initial roster of supporting banks and financial institutions include RBC and TD, which are considered by many as the two biggest of the Big Five banks in Canada. Both banks, however, may be open to the idea of supporting Android Pay, considering that they already support Apple Pay.
During the launch event, Spencer Spinnell, the Director of Emerging Platforms at Google, was quick to point out how the Canadian launch and ongoing expansion of Android Pay was made possible through the combined effort of Google’s crew and a wide range of partners that include business establishments, banks, financial institutions, payment networks, and even the consumers themselves.
For those who still have not heard of Android Pay yet, it takes full advantage of near field communications (NFC) technology in order to transfer tokenized payment data from a mobile device to a business’ terminal. Similar to how Apple Pay functions, Android Pay does not actually pass the original payment card details to a business, but instead merely creates a unique token that can be used for payment transactions. But unlike Apple’s mobile payment system, Google’s contactless mode of payment differentiates itself by not charging transaction fees to any party involved in the transaction.
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