Apple Hope to Launch Apple Pay in Canada in November

Posted by at 7:48 am on April 20, 2015

A new report suggests that Apple is currently in negotiations with Canada’s six major banks to bring Apple Pay to the country as early as November. With UnionPay negotiations with China currently stalled, Canada could be one of the first countries outside the US to get Apple Pay. The six major banks — BMO, CIBC, National Bank of Canada, RBC, ScotiaBank, and TD Canada Trust — account for 90 percent of retail bank accounts, and are also the primary banks behind the country’s Interac debit card system, and Interac Flash contactless payment system, which Apple Pay would have to support.

Canadians, as compared to Americans, are less reliant on credit cards, with debit cards being much more widespread. Both moved to a chip-and-PIN system years ago that is only just being rolled out in the United States, and more than 70 percent of merchants in Canada already use contactless, NFC-compatible point-of-sale (POS) terminals, which could mean that once the service is rolled out, it would be adopted quite quickly by merchants.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Canadian banks may require “secondary authorization” as a condition of accepting the mobile payments method, but it is unclear if this would apply only to adding a card into Passbooks for use with Apple Pay, or if it would apply to purchases over a certain amount as has been seen in some select cases in the US. The banks are said to be balking at Apple’s current fee proposals, which may be slightly higher than those of the US (presently, Apple makes 15 cents off every $100 worth of purchases, which comes out of the banks’ average two-percent fee). Canada, being a smaller country with a weaker dollar, might be asked for as much as 25 cents for every $100 charged, again coming out of the banks’ normal fees.

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