Samsung Pay is coming to Canada in 2016

Rob Attrell

February 21, 2016 1:54pm

Mobile payments systems have been growing quickly in popularity since the launch of Apple Pay in the United States, but the prevalence of tap-to-pay credit and debit cards in Canada means we haven’t had much uptake of these systems from Canadian banks.

Last year, Amex announced several countries, including Canada, would be getting access to Apple Pay, but so far Canada’s major banks haven’t adopted the platform.

Today, as part of the Galaxy S7 announcement, Samsung has announced that Samsung Pay, Samsung’s proprietary mobile payments service, will be coming to Canada in 2016. At the moment, we don’t know exactly what the time frame will be, or which phones or banks will be supported, but the promise is the first we’ve heard about Samsung Pay hitting Canada.

Mobile World Congress continues throughout the week, so it’s a good bet we’ll get more information in the next few days.

  • Jason

    please come to all NFC phones not just the S7

    • Including Windows phones!

    • lbwc

      Samsung Pay is not completely NFC based. It uses magnetic secure transmission…so only Samsung phones equipped with the tech will be able to use Samsung Pay.

    • MST is irrelevant in Canada! Liability laws mean the banks won’t accept most MST transactions. So only the NFC part really matters, and I’ve made NFC transactions on my four year-old phone, so there’s no reason why Samsung won’t bring this to older models – unless it’s going to be a tactic to get you to upgrade!!!

    • It’s Me

      Samsung pay relies on a hardware Secure element (from infineon I think) much like Apple has their own hardware secure enclave. Without this, OEMs need to fall back on the less secure HCE, like Android Pay, which is software/cloud based.

      Samsung can’t bring this to other OEMs unless they can ensure those OEM will invest in adding the hardware required for security. And older Samsung models will be lacking this hardware as well.

    • o3mta3o

      I’ve had a problem finding any info on canadian banks not accepting mts transactions due to liability. Could you show me where you found this info?

    • Megacharge

      MST payments can be used for most everything else though besides banks, like Tim Horton’s or restaurants, or general stores.

    • LeTricolore

      And, if I’m not mistaken, you don’t need an NFC SIM card, so that’s good. I don’t think all carriers offer them.

    • It’s Me

      Correct. Samsung has hardware built in to provide the secure element, so no need for secure element provided by the SIM. Same as Apple. Android Pay (and I think RBC Wallet) also gets around this but by using a cloud/software based HCE to provide the secure element.

    • LeTricolore

      I understand a lot of those words!

      I have a lot of loyalty cards on my phone, but right now I still need to take out my wallet to make a payment. It’ll be cool when I can use my phone for both the cards and the payment, though. Looking forward to it. Hopefully it’s available on the S6 (and other legacy devices) as well as the S7.

    • It’s Me

      That is something Samsung has thought of with their platform. The account token can be static or dynamic. A dynamic token makes it more difficult for any party to track and trace transactions back to a specific customer, so privacy win. A static token makes it easier for a customer’s activity to be reliably tracked. The one benefit to the customer of this tracking is loyalty programs. Samsung says most card issuers for Samsung Pay have opted for trackability with static tokens. So the platform is build with this in mind.

      A static token remains the same for the lifetime of the card account until the card expires, the user changes the device, or the card or device is lost or stolen. A dynamic token changes from time to time and can be used for a limited number of times or limited value based on the rules set by the issuer. Both types of tokens can be used for POS and e-commerce/in-app transactions.

      A static token offers the convenience of user tracking, so merchants can use that information for loyalty programs, and a static token requires less data exchange between the user device and the TSP. Dynamic tokens can trace the original transaction but cannot uniquely identify the paying customer, which can be a problem for merchants that rely on a static PAN/token to track their customers.

      The choice of static or dynamic tokens is at the discretion of card issuers. Of the limited deployments and implementations of token services today, most issuers have chosen static tokens as the preferred token type.

    • LeTricolore

      Thanks for the in depth replies. You’re usually really great with those on here. Much appreciated!

  • DonatelloNinjaTurtle

    This is interesting. I’m curious to see which banks are on board. Is Samsung Pay similar to Apple Pay in that they need to work with banks for this to work? Tokenization and all that jazz?

    • thereasoner


    • MBTechno

      Certainly Desjardins won’t work with Samsung Pay.

    • Megacharge

      It’s significantly superior to Apple pay and Android pay due to the MST hardware present on the phones themselves. This allows it to be used at outlets that aren’t modernized for things like Apple Pay or Android pay, and that still only require a card with magnetic strip or chip.

      You can see vids on youtube where guys are using Samsung Pay to buy stuff and being told by the shops that they dont support Android pay or Apple pay but they are able to make the purchases anyway due to MST, leaving the workers quite surprised.

  • Adam Reinhardt

    ApplePay & SamsungPay were also coming to Canada in Nov we are

  • manpreet singh

    Lets hope its not like apple pay where it only works with one credit card and no bank support. It needs support of all major banks . Well at least td bank

    • It’s Me

      Just like Apple Pay, it can only work with cards from banks that sign on. But, unlike Apple Pay, Samsung doesn’t take a cut of the fees so there may be a better chance of the banks getting on board.

    • WHAT?! That’s very generous of them, what’s in for them if they aren’t taking a cut?!

    • It’s Me

      The hope that banks will sign up. If banks sign up, the Samsung Pay becomes a selling point for their phones.

      It also may not be entirely their choice. From what I’ve read, if they are using the Visa/mastercard tokenization service, they are not allowed to take a cut. That’s why Google can’t for Android Pay. It may be why Samsung can’t either. But when it was discussed last year, the belief was that it was to encourage adoption in the short term. Always possible that if it was successful they could renegotiate for a piece later.

    • Minh

      UGO wallet is supposed to implement HCE for certain TD bank credit cards this summer (beginning?). There may be hope… but timelines in the tech world…you know how it is.

  • thereasoner

    Hmm…interesting. Are they just making it available with no guarantee that the banks will support it or have they worked something out that Apple failed to do? Maybe it’s just like Apple Pay in that it’s an independent Amex card only in which case I won’t be using it.

    • Mr Dog

      Samsung Pay doesn’t charge a fee, where as Apple charges Banks a fee so there is a possibility we will see Samsung Pay before Apple Pay?

    • thereasoner

      I didn’t know that, I thought all mobile payment services got a small cut from transaction fees.

    • Mr Dog

      I believe only Apple Pay has a fee, Android & Samsung Pay don’t charge a fee.

    • It’s Me

      Correct. Google is prohibited from charging a fee because they are using Visa/MasterCard’s tokenization service, which doesn’t allow Google to charge. They don’t charge because they aren’t allowed to. Samsung apparently intended to charge a fee but had a change of strategy last year where they decided that free had a better chance for adoption from banks against Apple Pay. Apparently they also use Mastercard/Visa’s tokenization service, so they may not be allowed to charge a fee either. Apple apparently got in with Mastercard earlier and did a lot of the work for tokenization on their own, so that may be why they are able to charge a fee.

    • Mr Dog

      Did not know that, Thanks.

      Any sources that Apple contributed to it?

    • It’s Me

      I don’t know that Apple contributed anything to the MasterCard/visa platform, though they might have. But Apple Pay was out before the standardized service was available and Apple is obviously charging a fee, so they appear to, at least in part, fall outside of the regular system.

      This interview with a MasterCard exec implies Apple Pay is build on Mastercards system with some additional barrier added by Apple to prevent them from seeing the payment data.

    • Mr Dog

      Cant find anything else but all the articles say something along the lines of ‘Apple is using its own form of tokenization’.

      That would be an interesting read, as to why apple is allowed to change but not others.

    • It’s Me

      That’s what I thought too, and it’s possible that parts of their implementation are home grown. But for the most part, at least according to the article with the interview with the MC exec, they are using the MC/Visa tokenization.

      A big part that Apple adds is they’ve intentionally cut off access to customer transaction data, something I’ve not heard the others are doing (and one would certainly not expect google to give up any data they are allowed to collect). They take privacy pretty seriously.

      There are a number of interesting implications here. First, while it may seem that Apple isn’t using any new technology, Lambert maintains that the combined use of tokens and biometric security features distinguishes Apple Pay from others. Second, Apple will not be handling the tokenization — the credit networks like Visa and MasterCard will be doing so. This essentially takes Apple out of the payment process — Lambert said that Apple will be acting “more as a channel and not a party,” and Apple already said in its major product announcement this week that it will not retain any transaction data. With Apple acting as a payment conduit and not a processor, it would already see little data, but Lambert said Apple has put up “some Chinese walls” to further prevent it from gaining access to payment data.

  • Basil

    Ok, so I have to pull out my phone, enter my passcode, pull up the app, choose the payment type etc, and then tap, and possibly put in security code? It’s faster just to pull out my wallet, pull out the card I want, and tap it. Done.

    • Mr Dog

      Im not sure about Samsung Pay but with Apple Pay you just place your Thumb on the Finger print sensor and hold the phone near the terminal.

      No need to open an app or do anything

    • Basil

      From the US Samsung Pay website, and from the picture accompanying this article, it looks like Samsung Pay makes you bring up the app. Still faster to get the wallet out, and you have to bring the physical cards in case the merchant doesn’t have tap.

    • Mr Dog

      Go look at a video on youtube. You just have to swipe up and it bring up the cards.

      No one is forcing you to use it, you are welcome to use your physical card. I personally prefer using my phone.

    • MBTechno

      Samsung Pay has tap AND magnet stripe. There’s a magnetic part in the S6/Note5/S7 that lets Samsung Pay work with MST. At this point almost all terminals are compatible.

    • Yeah, but bank policies are incompatible with MST.

    • mxmgodin

      That’s not really relevant to Canada, though. The vast majority of retailers have Chip and PIN terminals that won’t let you use the magnetic stripe unless it fails to read the chip correctly.

      The U.S. are only just starting to use Chip and PIN, so having magnetic stripe support on Samsung Pay is a big selling points for them. In Canada, it would be rather useless as you wouldn’t be able to use it most of the times.

    • MBTechno

      Pull out the phone, swipe up (there’s a Samsung Pay pull tab on the bottom of the lock screen) and put your finger on the home button. That’s it.

    • Mr Dog

      If you just tap and keep finger on the sensor, will it automatically come up?

    • MBTechno

      I don’t think so. The swipe up seems necessary.

    • Megacharge

      AFAIK with Samsung pay, you pull out your phone, put it next to the card reader scan your fingerprint or thumbprint and voila.

  • sky417

    Finally…. I bought my S6 expecting Samsung Pay to be available much sooner, but at least it is coming!

  • MoYeung

    What about Android Pay for non-samsung phones?

    • Mr Dog

      You can go complain to the Banks for that

    • gommer strike

      Android Pay? That’s…more a Google thing, which falls outside the scope of Samsung Pay.

      This is a Samsung article for would-be Samsung customers of Samsung products. The whole Android thing isn’t relevant here.

    • It’s Me

      Well, given many people fall into both categories or are potentially in both categories, it’s a valid question. If an Android user is deciding on their next phone, whether Android Pay is available at all could be the topping point on whether the go/stay with Samsung or go with another OEM.

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  • RjPiston

    I’ve been using the RBC app on my Z3 for NFC payments for about 6 months now, is Samsung pay(or Google wallet) any different?

  • mobilesugar

    I prefer to use checks. They forced me to learn cursive in elementary and that is the only time I use it. I’ll be damned if that skill goes to waste!

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    This is where the two standards really differ. Apple’s implementation of Apple Pay is really quite traditional, in the sense that it follows the NFC standard that had been established in previous mobile payment systems.

    You can only make Apple Pay payments in NFC reader-equipped retailers – those that still carry traditional card readers are entirely out of the loop until they upgrade.

    And that’s where Samsung Pay could really trump Apple Pay. Thanks to Samsung’s acquisition of LoopPay, it has implemented Magnetic Secure Transmission technology into its payment system.

    This essentially fools classic magnetic stripe card reader technology into thinking a physical card is being swipe through, when it’s actually a digital signal. In practice, it will feel much like a standard NFC payment.

    As such, retailers don’t need to upgrade in order to accept mobile payments from Samsung Pay devices.

  • Lee Ira

    Is samsung pay secure(+enough??)im afraid i might get hacked everytime i use it