JetBlue Airways Apple Pay image 001

It appears that the rumor which asserted that talks about bringing Apple Pay to more countries were stalling isn’t entirely accurate after all. As CNBC tweeted out on Friday, based on a Dow Jones report, Apple aims to launch Apple Pay in Canada this fall, marking the start of its international expansion of the mobile payment service.

Apparently, the Cupertino firm is in talks with the country’s six biggest banks about a potential November launch for Apple Pay’s first venture outside the U.S.

The news first broke in a tweet by CNBC and was later expanded in an article by The Wall Street Journal.

“At this stage, it is still uncertain whether all six banks will launch Apple Pay at the same time because talks are ongoing,” the newspaper quoted sources as saying.

The article identifies the likes of Royal Bank of Canada, Toronto-Dominion Bank, Bank of Nova Scotia, Bank of Montreal, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce and National Bank of Canada as potential Apple Pay partners in Canada.

The aforesaid banks account for more than ninety percent of retail bank accounts in the Canada, potentially giving Apple Pay near ubiquity upon launch.

Apple’s iPhone market share in Canada stands at about one-third of the smartphone market, potentially helping Apple Pay take off sooner than later. Apple Pay is supported on the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus and Apple Watch, as well as on older iPhones through the wrist-worn device, starting form the iPhone 5 onward.

VISA Apple Pay teaser

Another factor playing to Apple’s favor: the vast majority of Canadian merchants are already equipped with machines that accept contactless payments through near-field communication technology, or NFC, which is a prerequisite for Apple Pay.

Although the banks are open to an agreement, they reportedly “aren’t happy with Apple’s fee proposals” and are concerned about potential security vulnerabilities stemming from attackers using social engineering to put stolen credit card numbers into Apple Pay.

In particular, banks are citing supposedly “onerous” terms of commercial agreements for Apple Pay said to be in the range of 15 to 25 basis points on credit card transactions to Apple versus 15 basis points per credit card transaction and half-a-cent per debit transaction on Apple Pay in the United States.

“As a result, the ‘Big Six’ banks have formed a consortium and hired consultancy McKinsey & Co. to help develop a security protocol for Apple Pay,” sources told WSJ.

Canadian banks are reportedly proposing a “secondary authentication” system that would require entering a PIN to authorize a user’s credit card with Apple Pay. Other methods of verification could include logging into a mobile banking app or using a one-time passcode sent via text message, clunky experience notwithstanding.

While Apple’s been signing up new merchants to Apple Pay on a regular basis, including the likes of Coke and Walt Disney, as well as additional banks and credit card issuers — the list of participating issuers can be found in a support document here — the system remains hampered by availability issues as Apple Pay is currently unavailable outside the United States.

But, eventual setbacks aren’t stopping the Cupertino firm from promoting Apple Pay heavily. The company is even providing businesses with Apple Pay stickers for promotional purposes.

Source: Dow Jones via CNBC

  • Luke Mulholland

    About time! Wish it was sooner.

  • Dany Quirion


  • Faisal


  • Gregg


  • Joshua The-Legend Wiebe

    Release iTunes radio in Canada first!

    • AnArcticMonkey

      It’s better than hearing “coming soon”, the UK is still waiting for iTunes Radio, which has been “coming soon” for years now.

  • Jeremy Spencer

    Couldn’t Apple just make a deal with Interac so when you use your iPhone with a debit card it acts as Interac Flash? I have Interac Flash on my debit card and it works at about 85% of the places I go. Interac is so tightly interlaced with the banks in Canada this should be an easier procedure I think. For anyone outside of Canada, Interac Flash is when they put an NFC chip inside your debit card and you can tap your debit card on the terminal and make a purchase.

    • Norbi Whitney

      Good point. Would also mean Desjardins members (like myself) would get some Apple Pay love.

      • Dany Quirion

        Desjardins is a small market about 45% of quebec ppl and a small market in Ontario besides they dont even have flash interac so gonna take a while

      • Norbi Whitney

        Fair point, but I have a feeling flash interac is more likely than Apple Pay in the next decade.

  • Guest

    Meanwhile, Samsung’s “copy-cat” is already worldwide compatible with PayPass and Interaction terminals…maybe they’ll catch up after a decade or two.

    • Haha, perfect example of Samsung adding a new feature and doing it better than Apple themselves…

  • MacGuru96

    About time! I wish it had been available just over a month ago when I was in Vancouver. Canada seems to be far more prepared infrastructure-wise than the US was at time of launch, considering that they’ve been using chip-and-PIN cards with NFC for years now (as the norm). I would imagine that Europe would be similarly well-prepped.

    • Sead Delany

      yep Europe is well prepaired, chip and pin since 1998 and NFC since 2006, its the norm over here, the us are way way way behind.. apple pay is so unsucure they where denied a uk licence a few months back

  • Xee

    Forget Canada, Apple should release Apple Pay in the UK first. Also nobody wants to use a pin or waste time with a txt message when you can just use Touch ID…

  • Sead Delany

    apple pay is shit, use paypal. that way you know your protected