Android Pay begins its rollout across Canada

Android Pay Canada launch
NORTHERN TERRITORY: Canadian consumers can now use Android Pay to make mobile payments

Android Pay has begun rolling out across Canada with support for eligible Visa and Mastercard credit cards from BMO Bank of Montreal, CIBC, Banque Nationale, Scotiabank, Desjardins, President’s Choice Financial, ATB Financial and Canadian Tire Financial Services as well as prepaid Scotiabank and Desjardins cards. Support for Interac debit cards will begin rolling out on June 5, while support for American Express cards and Tangerine is expected “later this summer”.

“We’ll be rolling out support for top banks over the next several days, and this is just the beginning,” Google’s Pali Bhat writes in a blog post. “We will continue to add even more features, banks and store locations in the coming months, making it even easier to pay with your Android phone. Android Pay also stores your gift cards, loyalty cards and special offers right on your phone.”

The mobile payments service will be available in “hundreds of thousands of shops that accept contactless payments” including Tim Hortons, Loblaw, Petro-Canada, McDonald’s, Indigo, Pizza Pizza, Sears Canada and in Telus, Rogers and Freedom Mobile retail stores. Android Pay will also be available for in-app payments with retailers including Lululemon, Uber, Ritual, HotelTonight and more.

Banks notably absent from the list include TD Bank and Royal Bank of Canada. According to Google, more technical integration is required for those banks and they are expected to begin offering support in the “next couple of quarters,” ITWorld Canada reports.

Sophisticated ecosystem

“Users are looking to get more out of their mobile devices and that’s why we’re bringing these services to the Canadian market,” says Spencer Spinnell, the head of emerging platforms at Google. “The US is a fragmented ecosystem — Canada, on the other hand, is much more sophisticated.”

Interac debit on Android Pay will be available through issuing banks BMO, CIBC, Desjardins and Scotiabank from June 5, allowing payments through Android Pay to take place at “hundreds of thousands of merchant locations across Canada where Interac Flash contactless payments are already accepted”.

Google has also partnered with payment platforms, processors and technology providers including Moneris, Bambora, Chase, Cybersource, First Data, Global Payments, Paysafe, WorldPay and Stripe to “make it even easier to accept Android Pay”.

The launch in Canada — which was announced during Google I/O 2017 last month — takes the mobile payment service to a total of 12 markets, following its launch in Russia last week. Android Pay is available in the US, UK, Singapore, Australia, Hong Kong, Poland, New Zealand, Republic of Ireland, Japan and Belgium.

Evolving market

“Canadians are increasingly turning to mobile payments and by teaming up with Google, we are giving Mastercard cardholders the ability to pay with their Android device,” says Jason Davies, vice president of digital payments at Mastercard. “Now, Android users can add their Mastercard to Android Pay and use their phone to make simple, fast and secure purchases anywhere they can tap.”

“As the payment landscape evolves, we strive to offer Canadians innovative and seamless payment experiences that are fast, secure and increasingly digital,” adds Mark O’Connell, president and CEO of Interac. “The launch of Android Pay in Canada will give Interac debit cardholders yet another way to pay using their own money.”

“Moneris processes over 3bn transactions annually and of that, we predict 50% will be made by contactless cards or devices by year end,” says Moneris’ Jeff Guthrie.