Apple Pay has finally secured some major bank partners in Canada, bringing the mobile payments service beyond just the reach of American Express cardholders in the region.
It was announced yesterday (May 10) that Apple has added Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) as partners, along with ATB Financial and Canadian Tire Financial Services, according to Financial Post.
Other major banks, such as TD, Bank of Montreal and Scotiabank, will reportedly be signing on soon. RBC and CIBC are supporting Visa, MasterCard and American Express debit cards, while Canadian Tire is only supporting credit cards for now.
“We are thrilled that seven of Canada’s leading banks, including … every one of the Big Five, are bringing Apple Pay to their customers,” said Jennifer Bailey, Apple’s vice president of Apple Pay, in an interview with Financial Post.
These talks with the major banks have been going on for months, according to the report. One delay in the region was that Interac, a Canadian transactions firm, had to make sure it could support Apple Pay in order for the debit cards to actually work properly. Interac also developed a new token service provider for the launch.
“We have been working on it for a year and half,” said Avinash Chidambaram, Interac’s vice president of product and platform development. “But we have also been working with Apple to educate them on the Canadian market [and] highlight our ubiquity.”
Now, the banks are getting on board.
“We’ve been very clear that we will provide solutions that our clients want, but it’s been very important to consumer and merchant clients that both debit and credit be supported,” Linda Mantia, RBC's executive vice president of digital, payments and cards, told Financial Post. “Adding a new network to Apple Pay’s platform takes new work for both Apple and the network itself. All of the partners — the banks, Apple and the networks — have to build up this new integration and do full testing.”