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Ultimate Guide to Mobile Pay Apps in Canada

Ultimate Guide to Mobile Pay Apps in Canada
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Have you ever tapped your credit or debit card at a store or restaurant to make a purchase? Then, you’re ready to use a payment app on your smartphone. It’s just as easy, even more secure, and allows for higher purchase limits – thanks to the extra security steps required by the app…

Quick Read:

Canadians have had access to Apple Pay since 2015, and as more Canadian (and international) banks and credit cards work with mobile device apps, options to use Google Pay and Samsung Pay are growing right alongside Apple Pay.

Almost all – currently around 26 – banks and credit unions in Canada are connected to Apple Pay. Some banks are only connected by credit card, while other banks and credit unions work with Interac debit cards as well. Check with Apple to see which of your credit or debit cards is compatible, as the list is always growing.

Top 3 mobile pay apps

Here are the 3 most popular mobile pay apps available in Canada today:

Google Pay

Google Pay, which was rolled out in early 2018, is currently working with 10 Canadian financial service providers, including:

  • Bank of Montreal,
  • Desjardins,
  • Banque Nationale du Canada,
  • President’s Choice Financial,
  • Alberta Treasury Branch (ATB),
  • Canadian Tire Financial Services,
  • Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC),
  • Scotiabank,
  • American Express, and;
  • UNI Financial Cooperation.

Samsung Pay

Samsung Pay, which came to Canada in late 2016, is currently working with CIBC, Royal Bank of Canada, Scotiabank. and ATB, as well as American Express.

Apple Pay

Apple Pay, Check with your phone’s payment app to see if your bank or credit union has been added to the list, as both Google and Samsung are expanding their networks. Apple Pay is already available in Canada for Amex users.

Mobile payment systems and technology

All three systems work using Near Field Communication (NFC) to allow users to pay for their purchases with a quick tap or swipe of their mobile device.

The process is similar to the tap technology offered for many Canadian debit and credit cards, only with payment apps, you can leave your actual card at home. That’s one of the best benefits of mobile payment apps.

Samsung Pay has the additional feature of working on older-style magnetic swipe machines as well. The Samsung app can send out a magnetic signal that recreates the magnetic swipe used by a card that isn’t equipped with chip and tap technology.

Many US retailers are still using the swipe technology. But, tap has become more common in Canada, allowing for the rapid growth of mobile payment apps.

Popularity of mobile pay apps in Canada

This new app technology is growing rapidly. According to Visa, last year 12% of Canadians used their phone to pay for a purchase in a retail setting. And, as use of these apps continues to grow in Canada, consumers will notice that more and more retailers will accept payment using these apps.

In Canada, anywhere that offers a tap option for card payments will also work with Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay. As long as your bank’s debit and/or credit card is working with your app, you’re all set to go!

When you’ve connected your credit or Interac-compatible debit card or cards to your smart phone’s payment app, you can leave your wallet at home. You can attach multiple payment cards to your app, allowing you to change between debit and credit cards, or choose from multiple credit cards.

Adding rewards and points cards to your mobile payment app

And payment cards aren’t the only thing you can connect to your smartphone. You can also link rewards and points cards and easily collect points from popular programs, such as Air Miles, Scene Points, Optimum Points and gas station rewards points, all with a simple tap of your phone.

Conclusion – mobile pay apps are the future…

Many Canadians have grown accustomed to tapping their cards to make small purchases, but now, thanks to the added security built in to smartphone payment apps, you can make any size of purchase allowed by your credit limit or bank account, with just a tap of your phone.

These pay apps do not store your credit or debit card information on your phone, or on their servers, and they don’t share this information with retailers. Their developers say this greatly enhances consumer security.

Additional security measures are also incorporated when it’s time to pay. Each time you use your payment app, you must be able to unlock or open your phone to prove your identity.

With Apple Pay, for example, you need to enter your phone’s security code, provide fingerprint ID or confirm your identity with face recognition.

Samsung phones will require your PIN, an iris scan, or your fingerprint. Android phones need to be woken up with either a Google PIN or a fingerprint ID to use Google Pay.

Each of these pay apps can also be used for online purchases as well as in-app purchases. The websites for all three companies explain where and how you can use your payment app.

As well as working with Canadian banks and most Canadian retailers, all three apps work with banks and retailers in many countries throughout the world. These apps allow you to use your phone to make secure purchases with retailers in:

  • 29 countries with Apple Pay,
  • 18 countries with Google Pay, and;
  • 25 countries for Samsung Pay.

Download your smartphone’s pay app from your app store today and be on the cutting edge of this safe, secure and widely-accepted payment technology.