MasterCard May Support Apple Pay in Canada, Brazil and Asia This Year
Apple Pay is supported by large financial institutions in the United States, United Kingdom, and China, but the mobile payments service can only be used with non-bank-issued American Express credit cards in Australia and Canada. Apple Pay does not support big banks in either country.
That could soon change in at least Canada, as MacRumors has learned that MasterCard has Apple Pay support in that country on its 2016 roadmap. The information is based on an unverified internal document, however, so the plans cannot be proven beyond a reasonable doubt until other evidence surfaces.
MasterCard credit cards are issued by a number of Canada's largest banks, including BMO, CIBC, RBC, Scotiabank, and TD Canada Trust, while store-branded MasterCards are available from large retailers such as Canadian Tire, Costco, and Walmart. Most of these stores and institutions also offer Visa, but their plans remain unknown.
MasterCard is also looking to support Apple Pay in Brazil, Hong Kong, Japan, and Singapore in 2016, according to the document. Apple previously announced that its Apple Pay partnership with American Express will expand to Hong Kong, Singapore, and Spain this year, while Brazil and Japan would be entirely new markets.
Earlier this month, a hidden "NetworkInterac" string was uncovered in iOS 9.2.1 code that hints at Apple Pay support at Canada's big banks. Interac is Canada's official debit card network, adopted by the country's largest financial institutions nationwide. TD already stirred speculation in October when it inadvertently listed Apple Pay as a method of payment on its website, before quickly removing it.
Meanwhile, it was reported that Apple is preparing to launch Apple Pay in France, and it could make an announcement by September 2016 -- perhaps at WWDC in June. The original report did not specify when Apple Pay will become available in French stores, nor did it have information about which French banks and participating issuers will support iPhone payments upon launch.