Apple Pay Launches in Canada With American Express, Australia Later This Week

Apple Pay is now available in Canada exclusively for American Express customers, allowing newer iPhone and Apple Watch owners to make contactless payments at stores like Indigo, McDonald's, Sport Chek, Tim Hortons and others that have NFC-equipped payment terminals and accept American Express.

Apple Pay Canada

Apple Pay is now live in Canada on iOS 9.1 (Image: Twitter/Bryan)

Apple Pay should now be live in the Wallet app on iOS 9.1 for Canadian users. American Express cards can be scanned or added manually by tapping the "Add Credit or Debit Card" option.

American Express, an independent credit card issuer in Canada, is not nearly as popular or widely accepted as MasterCard or Visa credit cards in the country, and Apple notes that bank-issued American Express cards like those in partnership with Scotiabank are not accepted at launch.

Apple has reportedly been in talks with six large Canadian banks about launching Apple Pay north of the U.S. border, including the Royal Bank of Canada, TD Canada Trust, Scotiabank, Bank of Montreal, CIBC and National Bank of Canada, but negotiations have reportedly been dragging.

TD Canada Trust prematurely leaked an Apple Pay splash page last month, suggesting that Canadian banks may eventually support the mobile payments platform. High interchange fees and potential security issues have reportedly been sticking points in negotiations between Apple and banks.

Canada has been well prepared for Apple Pay, as many retailers and businesses across the country are equipped with NFC payment terminals required for contactless payments. The country was one of the earlier adopters of Chip-and-PIN debit and credit cards that can be tapped against a payment terminal when making a purchase, and Apple Pay is a natural extension of that functionality.

Canada's largest credit and debit card payment processor Moneris announced Apple Pay support for American Express cards earlier today.

Apple Pay launched in the U.S. in October 2014 and expanded to the U.K. last July, making Canada the third country with support for the service. Beyond Canada, Apple is also partnering with American Express to bring Apple Pay to four additional markets by the end of 2016.

Apple has confirmed with the Financial Post that Apple Pay will support American Express in Australia later this week, with AMEX customer service representatives suggesting a tentative November 19 launch date. Apple Pay will launch with American Express in Spain, Singapore and Hong Kong next year.

Update: Apple has published a list of Apple Pay participating retailers and apps on its Apple Pay page in Canada. Notable stores include Apple, Indigo, McDonald's, Petro Canada, Staples and Tim Hortons.

Related Roundup: Apple Pay

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Top Rated Comments

gcooldude86 Avatar
113 months ago
Come on MC and VISA!
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
newdeal Avatar
113 months ago
Which means pretty much everywhere in Canada.
yeah everywhere has NFC for the most part but not everywhere takes Amex. Also Walmart and Home Depot for sure still don't have NFC I am pretty sure which are two stand outs at being late to the party on that
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
JeffyTheQuik Avatar
113 months ago
Apple Pay is now available in Canada exclusively for American Express customers, allowing newer iPhone and Apple Watch owners to make contactless payments at stores like Indigo, McDonald's, Sport Chek, Tim Hortons and others that have NFC-equipped payment terminals.
Which means pretty much everywhere in Canada.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
walexx Avatar
113 months ago
Woooohooo only a day to wait for the Aussies (its already 18Nov here). This is really good news for Australians. For years Ive been using my AMEX as my main card for everything so to have Apple Pay is perfect for me. Amex is accepted almost everywhere in Australia and we have been using contactless payments for years and years so we are very well set up for this technology.

Lets hope CBA, Westpac, NAB and ANZ get their act together soon, but for now this is great news for us Aussies.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Corrode Avatar
113 months ago
Yayyyyyyyyy. FINALLY. This will light a fire under the banks to offer it as well. I bet a lot of people sign up for their first Amex today.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ptb42 Avatar
113 months ago
I think you have your facts wrong my friend!
Says the poster who gets almost every one of his "facts" wrong.

It is Apple that is greedy. Why should the banks pay the Apple tax when the banks already have chipped cards.
Apple Pay is not just "chipped cards". It's not even "just NFC". It's the first implementation of an new specification from the EMV consortium that uses tokenization to eliminate the need to exchange the actual account number during an authorization or reconciliation. There are also other additional security features that protect the card holder, the merchant, and the bank -- and all exceed the security features of the chip, alone.

If you think pulling out your phone is easier than pulling out a chipped card, then feel free to pay the 1% fee Apple charges the banks for Apple Pay.
In the US, Apple's fee is reportedly 15 cents per $100. This has been posted multiple times in this thread. If implemented properly, the EMV tokenization eliminates an entire class of credit card fraud and will likely be a net gain for the bank.

But in any event, the fee is paid by the bank. It's not paid directly by the cardholder, although if it eventually becomes an additional net cost increase for the bank, it will be paid by all of the bank's customers and shareholders.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)