Apple has just revealed that Apple Pay, its mobile payment system, will now support credit and debit cards running on the Visa or MasterCard credit networks, plus the Interac debit network, for all the top five major banking institutions, as well as two smaller bank entities, in Canada. Indeed, as of May 10th of this year, Apple Pay is already available from the following:
Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) -- Visa, MasterCard, Interac
Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) -- Visa, MasterCard, Interac
Alberta Treasury Branches (ATB) -- MasterCard, with support for Interac coming soon
Canadian Tire Financial Services -- MasterCard
Apple Pay is also coming in June to the following:
Bank of Montreal (BMO) -- MasterCard, Interac
TD Canada Trust -- Visa, MasterCard, Interac
Scotiabank -- Visa, Interac
For those not in the know, RBC, TD Canada Trust, Scotiabank, BMO, and CIBC are widely considered as the Big Five banking companies in Canada. For three of them (TD Canada Trust, BMO, and Scotiabank), they will have support for their Visa, MasterCard, and Interac cards in June of this year.
Introduced by Apple back in October of 2014, Apple Pay was officially made available in Canada in November of last year. At that time, the mobile payment system was already launched in the US market and in the United Kingdom market several months before. However, the Canadian market has proven to be a more tricky terrain for Apple Pay. The reason was that the initial deployment of the contactless mode of payment was limited only to non-bank American Express cards. Unfortunately for Apple, AmEx cards only represent a very small slice of the entire Canadian market.
When Apple Pay was first rolled out in the US, American banks had agreed to terms that had Apple get $0.15 for every $100 in transactions. Financial institutions around the world have since voiced out their protestations regarding Apple’s cut, which eventually made it difficult for Apple to expand Apple Pay worldwide.
However, with this recent development involving the Big Five banks in Canada, Apple is now making some significant progress in making its mobile payment system more available to Canadian iOS mobile users. It should be noted though that contactless modes of payment are still largely seen as a novelty in Canada. A recent survey conducted by GfK Canada has shown that mobile payments only accounted for just 3 percent of all payments made last year, even when taking into account PayPal and the Starbucks mobile app. But with support from the top five banking institutions in the country, Apple is hoping its Apple Pay offering should rise in popularity eventually.
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