Hands-on with Rogers suretap wallet mobile payment solution for Android and BlackBerry 10

Daniel Bader

April 11, 2014 10:36am

Rogers has finally launched its long-awaited suretap wallet product, available today for a number of devices, including the Galaxy S5. In fact, all future NFC-compatible Android and BlackBerry devices will arrive with suretap wallet pre-installed.

So what is it? And why use it? That’s a good question, and one Rogers is trying very hard to thoughtfully answer. At its core, suretap wallet is an open destination for cards, all types of cards, from payment to loyalty to gift. At the moment, the selection is rather barren — there is no credit card support, and loyalty is nowhere to be seen — but Rogers promises that will get better very quickly. Using the combination of a secure element, in this case a SIM card designed to store payment credentials and pass them, securely, to a payment terminal for which only the issuer has the key, a user can treat a touchless retail terminal the same way they would a physical credit card. The payment itself is processed wirelessly using near-field communications (NFC), eliminating the need to enter a PIN code or issue a signature.

According to Jeppe Dorff, the Vice President of Transaction Services at Rogers, the Canadian market is primed for such a change. Over 80% of Canadian point-of-sale terminals have been converted to support tap-to-pay, at which an individual would hold a credit card close to the receiver to process a payment. For security reasons, most issuing banks limit this transaction to between $50 and $100 per transaction — the convenience must have an ancillary tradeoff — and this is true of transactions made on the device as well.

Suretap wallet is, to put it mildly, ambitious, and far more inclusive than most Rogers products in the past. “We’re not try to disrupt the ecosystem, or change consumer behaviour,” Dorff tells me. He wants everyone’s cards, even those from competing companies, to have the opportunity to localize their disparate payment solutions. “Consumers experience app confusion,” pointing to the myriad fragmented ways we tend to pay for things on our mobile devices. Both Visa and MasterCard have their own native solutions for tap-to-pay, while companies like PayPal are working with point-of-sale backends like TouchBistro to eliminate the credit card altogether. “Everyone has a smartphone, so it makes sense for Rogers to be the consolidator.”


To ensure that Suretap wallet is somewhat functional out of the box, Rogers has worked with Peoples Trust Canada, a credit union that has a relationship with MasterCard, to provide a Rogers-branded virtual prepaid credit card to all users. Signup is quick and easy, since the per-transaction limit is $100. Initially, the card is considered “restricted,” which limits the maximum load to $200 and three “top-ups,” which can be made from any credit card. Customers who want to continue using the card after that time will need to register it at Rogers’ prepaid portal, which requires more user validation. Once the restrictions are lifted, though, the card can be used in perpetuity, and the limit blooms to $500. The fine print is a bit pernicious: card top-ups cost $2 each, and there’s a $2.50 monthly fee irrespective of use. To cancel the card, too, costs a hefty $10 (though your balance is refunded). These are standard fees associated with any prepaid credit card — you’d find the same terms with an off-the-shelf card from Shoppers Drug Mart, for instance — but they speak to the broader issue of availability with suretap.

Dorff says he has been working with banks to get their cards on the system, but it’s not as easy as flipping a switch. Even CIBC, which piloted suretap mobile with Rogers, has not made its Visa cards available for the wallet experience. There are, as one would expect, “multiple layers of security” between the cardholder and bank to ensure that payments are processed without incident and according to regulations, and banks are taking their sweet time turning physical cards into virtual ones, even if the infrastructure is available.

Suretap wallet also supports a number of gift cards from various retailers: Cara’s many brands, including Swiss Chalet, Milestones, Montana’s, Harvey’s and Kelsey’s, along with book retailer Indigo, Earls Restaurants, JOEY Restaurants, Ardene, and SpaFinder Wellness 365. Users can buy them within the wallet itself, or add existing cards from those vendors, with more on the way in the near future.

Screenshot 2014-04-11 10.39.28

As for availability, Rogers suretap wallet is compatible with the Samsung Galaxy S5, Galaxy S4, Galaxy S3, Note 3, Note II, HTC One, LG G2, and BlackBerry Z10, with other devices like the Q10 and Q5 already going through validation. Users will also need a new secure SIM card, which should come for free with any new device, but can be purchased separate from Rogers for $12.99.

And unlike most existing Rogers apps on Android and BB10, suretap wallet is attractive, smooth and intuitive. It feels surprisingly modern.

Though suretap wallet isn’t necessarily a game-changer, it’s a good first step towards solving the fragmentation problem in the mobile payment ecosystem.



  • Jakob

    Cool. I like the idea of a finger print sensor now being on phones as a lock combined with the virtual aspect of cards.

  • Raphael Del Castillo

    Wouldn’t this require data? And a lot of vendors still do not use tap.. So you’re kind of screwed if there is no tap lol.

    • RogersElise

      No, the only time a customer would potentially use data is when they upload a payment card to the suretap Wallet. Mobile payments made with the suretap Wallet use NFC-technology which does not use data, but radio waves.

  • imjohnh

    Wake me up when I can associate my existing debit and credit cards with the app. (And not have to pay for the right to do so.)

  • Martin Chan

    There’s too many factors that need to add up. The phone part is almost accpetable. Almost everyone has one of these phones. But not everyone wants more credit cards.

  • abc123

    Projects like this, spearheaded by a wireless company, are doomed to failure. There is no standard and it’s not open to be used by everyone. A very closed system with limited support and limited audience. Furthermore, not all merchants are on board.

    Even if it were to succeed, all it would take is the credit/debit card companies to take notice and form an alliance to adapt a new standard that is accepted everywhere that credit/debit cards are used, and they will have effectively destroyed suretap.

    Rogers no doubt sees the huge revenue from the fees that can be collected from each transaction and probably because of greed, decided to go it alone. In the end, your credit card will work anywhere in North America, but your Suretap phone will only work in Canada.

  • Andrew Sangho Lee

    You need to get a SureTap SIM card in order to use it. and it’s not free.

    • chris

      call rogers and they will send u a free one

  • Martin Chan

    I think it should go like this. Bank and app. Or credit company and app. No SIM, carrier.

  • Sweet

    It looks like I can still pay much faster with my physical card than with a smartphone, as is the case with my PC Plus card & app. So, since I have to carry a wallet around anyways, and I’m impatient when it comes to buying things, I’ll be sticking with my physical card.

    • ShocWave

      I don’t even need to take my card out of the wallet. Just tap my wallet on the machine and I’m good to go.

    • deltatux

      or if you’re with BMO, you can use the PayPass tag which you can put at the back of your phone to just tap and go. Of course, there are security issue where people can carry NFC readers and just easily swipe the credit card info just by walking by you (yes this is possible and is a legitimate concern, that’s why there’s the added security).

    • Guest

      or if you’re with BMO, you can use the PayPass tag which you can put at the back of your phone to just tap and go. Of course, there are security issue where people can carry NFC readers and just easily swipe the credit card info just by walking by you (yes this is possible and is a legitimate concern).

    • Sweet

      That’s exactly why I use a RFID-blocking wallet.

  • PT

    The Robellus Fair for Canada campaign is dishonest and a downright insult to our intelligence

  • Francis L-R

    This better come to Moto X!!!

  • Beno

    CIBC was the first partner to use Suretap with CIBC Visa card.
    So, why is CIBC Visa card not available on Rogers wallet experience?

  • PΞTΞЯ™

    I have the Phone and the proper sim and it still won’t get past the “validation Code” screen. Rogers was no help. They wanted me to sign up for a level 2 tech support that requires a monthly fee or a huge one time fee. I couldn’t believe that have that crap. Anyone else figure out how to get it working? Does rogers need to do anything on their end like activate the service or anything?

    • RogersElise

      Hi Peter, would you be able to reach out to me on Twitter – @RogersElise, or on Facebook? I’d like to see if I can help.

  • RogersElise

    Hey Tyler, is it working now? I’ll email you to double-check.

  • RogersElise

    Hi Chris, it might be that your SIM card is not NFC enabled. You can get that in a Rogers store. The LG G2 is suretap cartified, which means that payment networks (Visa and MasterCard) have tested the device and approved it to load virtual versions of existing payment cards.

  • Al

    this app is not worth the time or hassle
    installed on the 11th and still waiting for wallet to be registered on the 17th
    swapped sure tap Sims cards uninstalled re installed a few time
    on the phone for 4 hours and 3 tickets open this week
    I have no joy yet

    • RogersElise

      Hi Al, sorry to hear you’ve been having issues. Would you be able to contact me on Twitter – @RogersElise? Thanks

    • Al

      you never called me on wed ?
      I did get it fix / reg. on Thursday the 17 th
      thank you for the help

    • RogersElise

      I was supposed to call you? Sorry for that, and glad to hear you had it fixed.

    • Shawn Richarz

      So what worked? I’ve had the same problem for almost a month.

    • RogersElise

      Hi Shawn, please reach out to @RogersHelps on Twitter and they’ll help.

  • Al

    Great app after you get registered.
    used it at tim’s last night
    long time to register

  • francopellicciotti

    I got the suretap sim over the weekend have not had any luck using it.
    When I run the Suretap wallet, either it gets stuck at validating device, or if everything is aligned properly, I do get to confirm the code, but when I do try to enter the code, I get Validation code expired.
    Called Tech support, and went to even rogers store, and they were no help.

  • victor aguilar

    I try using this on winners, ebgames, target, gap, and no one accepts this type of. Payment, I’m stuck any idea of which stores actually use this??

  • chris

    WOw i got my surtap sim card for my first phone and it can’t complete registration. its been escalated for 15 days now 🙁 thanks rogers. Now my second phone won’t register LOL wow i love rogers

  • Codename_Falcon

    “it’s a good first step towards solving the fragmentation problem in the mobile payment ecosystem”… With a small supported device list and not supporting Host Card Emulation I would have to completely disagree.

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