Apple Pay launched in Canada Tuesday, allowing consumers to make purchases with their iPhones at the checkout in places like Tim Hortons, Indigo, McDonald’s, Petro Canada and Staples.

But since Apple Pay’s merchant partner is American Express, Apple Pay is essentially limited to those with AmEx cards, which aren’t granted by Canadian banks, making it extremely difficult for Canadians to get access to.

Sources told the Globe and Mail that Apple’s negotiations with Canadian banks and more widely used credit-card networks were dragging on, and that the company decided to proceed with AmEX instead of waiting any further.

In comparison, Apple Pay in the U.S. launched in October 2014 and currently accepts Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover cards from most major banks. On Tuesday, it also expanded its support to more than 100 additional card issuers.

The current requirements to using Apple Pay in Canada are:

  • You own an Apple Pay compatible device such as the iPhone 6, iPhone 6S, or Apple Watch.
  • You are an AmEx cardholder.
  • You’re shopping at a retailer that supports both tap-to-pay and also accepts American Express.

As reported previously, there may be a few people who meet these requirements, so it’s still very unlikely that Apple Pay will be replacing your analog wallet anytime soon.

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  • Bill___A

    Apple should be forced to make their NFC chip available to other developers. There’s no way they should be allowed to lock up the payment market on their devices by insisting that any issuer use apple pay. Can you imagine if they only allowed apple email apps?

    Why should our banks, who have built an extensive payment network, allow some handset manufacturer, due to the fact that they have locked out their NFC chip, siphon off revenue in perpetuity?

    • tricksie

      I’m not sure why stores and banks would support this. The current system (credit cards and bank cards) work fine as it is. Why let anyone else, Apple or otherwise, get a piece of the pie? I don’t know about you, but I don’t base my store choices based on whether or not I can pay by tapping with my card.

    • OpticDisc

      Because the Banks already readily supports blackberry and android phones with payment systems that lock out apple users.

  • zimer

    If it does not support Visa & M/Card …………….don’t need it.