TD Canada Trust’s new mobile payments solution supports Visa cards without the need for a NFC SIM

Igor Bonifacic

March 3, 2016 11:49am

Beating the likes of Apple and Samsung to the punch, TD Canada Trust has launched its own mobile payments solution that supports Visa credit cards in Canada.

Starting today, TD Canada Trust customers can download the updated TD Bank app, available on Android phones running 4.4 and above, add their TD Canada Trust-issued Visa card to the app and begin tapping at point of sales terminals across the country in order to pay for goods and services with their mobile device.

Unlike solutions like UGO or Suretap, the updated TD app takes advantage of Host Card Emulation (HCE), obviating the need for smartphone owners to go to their carrier and get a NFC SIM Card. This also means TD’s solution works on almost any Android phone (as long as it’s 4.4 and above), and on any Canadian wireless network. Previously, the bank’s mobile payments solution required a NFC SIM. As several readers have noted, TD Canada Trust isn’t the first bank to implement this type of functionality inside of its app, the RBC Wallet for Android has had similar functionality for a number of months.

In any case, there are a couple of restrictions to note with TD’s payments solution. The first is that users obviously need to own a smartphone that has a NFC chip. The second, and potential deal breaker for some, is that TD Canada Trust notes some merchants may enforce a $100 limit on purchases made with the app.

“The adoption of Visa’s tokenization solution allows us to deliver a faster, simpler, and more accessible mobile payments experience, backed by a secure technology developed by a global leader in payments,” said Rizwan Khalfan, TD’s chief digital officer, in a statement issued to MobileSyrup.

Download the TD Bank app from the Google Play Store.

Just last week, IDC published a report that said mobile payment technology won’t gain wide adoption in Canada until sometime before the end of the decade. Since that report came out, a lot of mobile payment-related news has come out. Most notably, according to an unverified internal document obtained by MacRumors, Apple Pay plans to support MasterCard in Canada by the end of 2016.

Update: the updated app is now live on the Play Store.

  • BriniaSona

    NFC Sim, IE, only for ROBELUS.

    • LeTricolore

      It says you don’t need an NFC SIM..

    • Plazmic Flame

      Reading is a lost art for 100s of millions in this day and age…

    • slimdizzy

      Bell only issues NFC sims now so I would assume Telus does as well. Moved from Wind to Bell last Novemeber and had no choice but get an NFC sim.

      Also the article states that the need for the NFC sim is not required as it is doing it the right way, ie HCE.

      Read much?

    • Igor Bonifacic

      You don’t need a NFC SIM, Gendo.

    • It’s Me

      Trade off is they need to use HCE.

    • MatroXX

      Don’t see how that’s a trade-off.

    • It’s Me

      Because, at best, HCE is a compromise. It is the only option if one can’t do a proper hardware based secure element. That’s it’s advantage; if one lacks hardware, then emulate it in software. It’s literally virtualizing the hardware SE and sticking it in the cloud. No software can ever be as tamper resistant/secure as hardware and this software emulating what is required to be very secure hardware. Further, it is a privacy hole. The payment provider, with HCE, can determine what account is being used at what stores and basically by what person. Hardware SE with tokenization prohibits this to a large degree. The payment provider in this case only ever gets a tokenized account, which it cannot revert to a real account.

      HCE, by it’s very nature, was a intended to be a compromise for those lacking the capability to do it in hardware without the added inconvenience of needing a third party secured NFC SIM. The benefit is a wide range of phones are supported. But those OEMs that can do their own secure elements, like Samsung and Apple, are doing so, even with the higher costs to them.

      It’s a trade off. A compromise. No shame in acknowledging that fact.

    • carthis

      TD is virtualizing the card number with this implementation of HCE, so the merchant doesn’t even get your real card number. Yes, they can track this virtualized number, but to what end and furthermore, so what? They can already do that when you use your physical card.

    • It’s Me

      Merchant no, payment provider (i.e. whomever is hosting the virtual secure element/HCE) does. One of the benefits of SE with tokenization is privacy. So your purchasing habits (and other data) can’t easily be tracked and sold, mostly for marketing. Privacy certainly is not a big benefit for many people, not even an after thought really. But for some, privacy is important.

    • carthis

      Mobile payments are not being billed as enhancing privacy. They’re for convenience, nothing more. Using HCE is no less secure/private than using the physical card. If you care that much about privacy, you should be using cash.

    • It’s Me

      Actually, properly implemented mobile payments are much more secure than a physical card. Much. Even HCE. First, many card support tap and pay, which is easily skimmed with prox readers and second they provide your account details instead of a tokenized representation. HCE is superior to cards in privacy and security. Just not as much as hardware SE.

      You may not have seen mobile payment as being billed as enhancing privacy or security but it certainly has been. Widely.

      One doesn’t always have to sacrifice security or privacy for convenience. Arguing that one isn’t desirable because of another is just sort of silly.

  • Brownstar

    And it doesn’t work with the Nexus 6P or Nexus 5………….good work TD!

    • Alessandro

      the app hasnt been uploaded to the playstore, it hasn’t rolled out yet. i dont see why it would be unavailable for the Nexus line once it launches though.

    • Brownstar

      I see. The app does show mobile payment but that it’s not compatible with my phone and version of Android. Does look like it might not be the updated app as the copyright mark shows 2013.

    • Alessandro

      yea, same here. it’s still the same nfc sim based solution we have on our end.

    • Collin dubya

      its compatible with my 6p, not sure what your talking about.

    • Alessandro

      When you go to the mobile payment section it says it’s compatible and it allows you to set it up? Im using a 6p as well.

    • Brownstar

      Mine doesn’t list the 6P in the app and the Store tells me it’s not compatible with any of my devices.

    • Josh Brown

      Says it is compatible with my 6P

    • johentie

      like most have stated the app has not been updated yet… before it didn’t work on rooted devices.. i wonder if things have changed..

    • Franco

      It’s probably a staged rollout as I just updated and my 6P works fine with this.

    • Brownstar

      Got the update now and it’s all good to go

    • Mathieu Dubuc

      It works on my nexus 5x. Just tried it.

    • Vito R.

      I set it up on my 5x but it didn’t work at the store.

      I tapped it while screen was locked and unlocked. Nothing happened.

      Don’t tell me you have to be in the app and tap the “pay” button?

    • D M

      I have a Nexus 5, it works.

    • Works fine on my Nexus 6, but I’m not rooted.

  • rgl168

    I do not believe the TD app has been updated yet, otherwise it would have shown up under “Recently updated” section.

  • treefrog

    RBC’s banking app has had this feature for months – I don’t find it more convenient than using a plastic card, but it’s nice to have the backup payment option on my Nexus 5. It worked well the couple times I used it.

    • Alex

      oh, didn’t know RBC’s app can do that. might be nice. And i actually find it less convenient. But it was extremely handy when i left my wallet at home, and i was at mcdonald’s for breakfast, and it was 10:55am. xD. Apple pay saved me there, haha.

    • rgl168

      I have been started using RBC about a month ago (I couldn’t before because RBC Mastercard is not compatible – only Visa, so I switch from MC to Visa online). It surprised quite a few people at Timmies when I use my phone to pay.

    • Alex

      haha, cool. Quick question, do you know when you use mobile payment, or credit card in general, would you get notified at all through the app? Its the one thing i like about apple pay really. There were times when their systems crashed during processing my payment with my VISA card, and i had no clue if it got through or not… Can’t find out for another few days, lol.

    • treefrog

      I haven’t seen any notification from the app. You like apple pay because, when it crashes, it lets you know? I suppose I can be glad that RBC’s mobile wallet hasn’t crashed when I was using it.

    • Alex

      apple pay didn’t crash, it was their terminal. They’re POS system crashed during the process of the transaction after i swiped my VISA. But there was no way to determine if the payment was fully processed, as the owner asked me to pay again.

    • C F

      Had that happen before because their terminal wasnt setup for paywave but the reader was sensitive enough that it picked up the card & crashed

    • rgl168

      Depending on your definition of “notification”. When I do the tap with the RBC app, the phone will vibrate with a screen display that a transaction of $xxx has been transmitted. With the TD app, the phone emits a tone and then display a similar message.

    • Alex

      oh, i guess thats nice, but what i meant by notify, was if I could go through the mobile app, and actually see the transaction i just made. At the moment, if i swipe my credit card to pay for something, i wont see it till 3 days later.

    • TP

      Same here, I do have it as a backup, but I never find it any more convenient. You bring up the phone, turn it on, pass the lock screen, open the app…Why not just bring your wallet and tap (if the credit card is slotted in the most outer slot of the wallet and there are not many bills, you don’t even need to take out the card)

    • Cornfed710

      You should try Pay, no need to turn on, unlock, or open an app.

      For Pay, you just rest your finger on the home button (while the phone is off), hold near terminal, done 🙂

    • TP

      Thanks for the suggestion, but my phone does not have fingerprint scanner or an external home button, so I doubt any kind of Pay solution that requires both would work on my phone.

    • So I can use the RBC application without a NFC SIM card now? Thanks.

    • Can’t Fix Stupid

      TD’s has a home screen widget that takes you right to the tap and pay. This makes it less cumbersome than RBC’s now.

    • D M

      It’s as convienennt if not more … Rather than pulling out your wallet, then card. You only have to pull out your phone. Your choice if you want to add a pin.

    • Vito R.

      RBC app is such a hassle – much less convenient than a credit card – but handy if you forget your wallet.

      Seems like the TD solution is only marginal better, but I haven’t successfully used it yet.

  • Alex

    So… anyone knows that, since TD took the time, to update their app to make mobile payments through NFC chip on android, does that mean that iphones wont get this feature ever? as apple closes off its NFC for only apple pay, and i doubt TD will use apple pay if they have this thing…

    • carthis

      What?

  • Can’t Fix Stupid

    I believe the reason for the $100 limit is that Visa forces the risk back onto the merchant when ‘tap to pay’ is used if it is unauthorized, fraud, etc. At least that’s what a merchant told me.

    I got an RBC Visa a few months back in order to use the non-NFC sim wallet. Looks like TD has caught up. Will check it out when the update shows up in the Play store.

    • It’s Me

      The limit makes sense for tap and pay since its effectively zero security. It’s wide open, no authorization and no security. But proper mobile payments should be as secure than chip and PIN, more so in some ways. The limit for tap and pay makes little sense to apply to properly secured mobile payments.

    • Stephen B Morris

      The limit has been there from since tap to pay was pretty much introduced. Financial institutions will most likely treat mobile payments the same way in everything from the way it’s handled to disputes. It’s all insured up to $100 from what I remember. At least mobile payments is getting somewhere in Canada.

    • It’s Me

      But there is no reason to apply the tap and pay limit to properly secured mobile payments. If properly secured, they are more secure than chip and pin, so at the least, that should be the limit. With Amex on Apple Pay the limit is your card limit.

    • C F

      Yeah & debit visa is just random on when it works

  • Similar implementation as that of the RBC Mobile Wallet, which also works on and Android 4.4+ device equipped with NFC. TD seems to be playing catch-up?

    • rgl168

      It’s probably preamble to UGO wallet (TD/PC Financial partnership) HCE implementation later this year.

    • Chris Palmer

      TD is playing catch up with HCE. TD was first of the big banks to market with mobile payments a couple years ago, but it has languished since.

      I had trouble getting mobile payments working on my S6 last year and TD had literally no people on the support team capable of dealing with it. Evidently it was pretty low priority. So it’s nice to see them move on HCE regardless. Better late than never.

  • TomsDisqusted

    Barring any major issues, I actually think it’s time to acknowledge that one of the banks has done something good.

    The other banks have been engaged in unnecessary restrictions and complications for too long. This seems like a big step in the right direction.

    • el

      Completely agree, this is a good move to potentially open up tap to pay in canada for a vast number of users (the NFC SIM thing was ridiculous), which hopefully will encourage the other banks to follow suite.
      I hope it actually works.

    • Corrode

      Disagree. You have to use THEIR app with THEIR card and THEIR requirements in order to use it. Apple Pay and Android Pay would be much better solutions, but they refuse to open this up to Canadians.

      Want to do something good? Give consumers a choice.

    • Android Pay all the way!

      Or at least turn UGO into an industry platform (as opposed to a TD platform) and get other Canadian banks on board.

      I’d actually feel a bit better if the wallet software was the responsibility of Canadian financial institution. As long as they keep feature parity with Android Pay – like loyalty cards and stuff.

    • Cornfed710

      That’s exactly right, if Pay and Samsung Pay launched on the same day with Visa and MasterCard, I’d be thrilled. These bank solutions are garbage.

    • Can’t Fix Stupid

      It’s similar to the RBC wallet introduced last year but it’s a little more refined on the TD side in that there is a one touch widget that takes you right to either the tap to pay or your 5 digit password. The RBC app doesn’t have a widget so it requires more steps before getting right into the tap and pay screen.

      RBC now has a bit of catch up to do to implement a widget and faster access to the password screen.

  • Attackbeaver

    Now if they would just add debit support – this might actually be usable for everyday purchases. I’m not putting everything I buy on credit, just to be able to use my phone as a payment option

    • Harold Mitchell

      Agree that debit card support is desirable, but if you have any affinity credit cards or reward credit cards use them to accrue points and then post an online payment from your bank account associated with your debit card to the credit card you used. Extra steps for sure, but “rewarding” 🙂

    • Chris Palmer

      Likewise. The only time I use my debit card is when the retailer doesn’t take credit cards. Very rare that that piece of plastic gets any use.

    • liQuid03x

      Scotiabank supports debit with their Wallet app.

    • Cornfed710

      You miss out on a ton of rewards, I use my credit card for every purchase I make. Just pay the bill at when you get it every month. You’d be surprised how quickly Cashback can build up from using a CC for everything you buy.

      You pretty much pay at least 1% more for everything you buy with your debit card, but really closer to 2%-3%.

  • Works on my Nexus 5 (6.0.1) with WIND.

  • Kent Ratke

    Works on 5X

  • mortywhatever

    Right now I can open the rewards card app on my phone, have it scanned, then pull out my visa from the card holder in my phone wallet, tap it and go. Pretty convenient.

    Where is the big advantage to using these phone payments systems with all their issues right now?

    • Chris Palmer

      Not keeping a card holder attached to your phone?

      Honestly it’s not for everyone or for every situation. I love using mobile payments when I’m out without my wallet (ex. wanting to stop for water at the end of a long run). Pulling the old card out is almost always easier otherwise.

  • Amandeep Singh

    Still getting errors. And I hope they support debit cards soon.

  • rgl168

    Just updated – going to try out tonight

  • sadhvialam

    Stuck at “we’re checking compatibility” with the circle going round and round

    • Ian

      I have the same problem with my Nexus 5x. I am running stock but have my device rooted. Anyone try the app with a rooted device?

    • Chris Palmer

      The previous TD mobile payments (secure NFC) wouldn’t work when my phone was rooted, so I imagine that could well be the cause.

    • Miguel

      Same

  • Rumble and Sway

    This is a gimmick just like all these NFC payment apps. Fact is that it takes no more time to whip out a card to Tap N Pay than it does using a phone. In fact it probably takes less time but it’s the hype surrounding this once again driving the story how this tech is sooo great.

    As far as the $100 limit goes that’s pretty much standard for all pay wave transactions today. The idea a person could spend hundreds or thousands by simply tapping your phone or card is absurd from a security and fraud standpoint

    • Igor Bonifacic

      With Apple Pay and Samsung Pay the transaction limit is the same as your card limit.

    • Rumble and Sway

      Be that as it may I don’t feel it’s a good idea.

    • Vito R.

      It’s not a gimmick. While it’s not as simple and quick as Apple Pay it’s better than the alternatives.

      You need to unlock your phone, find and launch the app and then tap the pay icon. No need for passwords or pins to pay but you still need them to access your account info.

      Overall it’s probably quicker than taking out your card from your wallet. There might be a way to launch it from an unlocked phone – but I haven’t gotten it to work in a couple attempts today..

    • thereasoner

      It doesn’t happen often but this will be great for those times I’ve found myself in the drive thru at Timmies only to realize that I left my wallet at home….after I’ve ordered no less, lol.

      Other than having it as a backup I don’t see myself using it but I don’t think that makes it a gimmick, it’s still cool and useful tech that serves a purpose.

  • truepopo

    error error error……nice rollout TD

    does anyone know if visa debit cards work and not just credit cards?

    • Craig Cooper

      I was not able to add my Visa Debit card, only my normal Credit Card. If I try to add more I just get “You have added all of your eligible Cards.”

  • Ryan Grant

    When’s the iPhone app coming? iPhone 6/6s supports nfc..

    • PeterC

      Apple doesn’t let app developers use the NFC in the iphone tho.

    • C F

      This fall according to the original info

  • thereasoner

    I set it up today and will probably try it a Tim Hortons but it’s not going to be my go to way of making a purchase, my card or cash is my preferred choice. That said, this is going to be a great back up on those rare occasions when I mistakenly leave my wallet at home.

  • Duston Courtney

    Wow TD, NFC is built into a phone it is not part of a SIM.. The antenna for NFC is under the battery label on Android devices. All that bump crap you can download is NFC… Pull down your status menu on your phone (At the top) on your android phone, than hit view all oh look in that list NFC.. I cannot believe such a huge company could make that dumb of a tech error.

  • Nik

    “Beating the likes of Apple and Samsung to the punch”

    Can you be a little more thoughtful in your writing than to start it with a blatant falsehood? TD blocking the likes of Apple and Samsung from being allowed to implement their mobile payments systems and participating in anti-competitive behaviour should be the headline of this story. Unreal.

    • Vito R.

      Truth.

  • Eric M.

    Nice got the update Yesterday and it works great on my LG G4!

  • Alex346

    The RBC Wallet app is set up to allow use of your debit card. Ive been using it for sometime and have never really had any problems. I just tried to set up my TD aeroplan business visa on the updated TD app but its not one of the compatible visa cards for some reason

    • thereasoner

      My TD Aeroplan Visa worked just fine on my Galaxy S6, I wonder if there’s more than one kind?

    • Vito R.

      Business Visa is the problem. My business Visa didn’t work either.

      Are you logged in from your business bank card or personal? I’m using my personal card and it doesn’t work…

      RBC wallet is horrible.

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  • EveryonesOpinion

    I’m confused. I’ve been doing this with my TD app for years, using my S4.
    Why is this news now?

    • thereasoner

      You don’t need a NFC based SIM card now and it should work with more devices than before as well.

  • I’m confused… I have a Samsung Galaxy Note 3 it has NFC, I have the updated TD app and I have Android 5.0 and I’m with Wind Mobile. When I try to add my TD Visa card I get an error telling me “TD Mobile Payment is not compatible with your smartphone. [7011047]?

    I should have everything I need for this to work???

    EDIT: I don’t have an NFC sim card but I don’t need one according this article.

    • thereasoner

      You should be presented with the option to set it up the next time you launch the updated TD app and you should also have a widget available as an option if the update was done. Did you get that?

    • Yeah I even have the widget. I seen on Facebook others that Have a Galaxy Note 3 are getting the same error [7011047]. Hope TD has a fix it in the next update.

    • thereasoner

      I just tried it at Montanas restaurant and it didn’t even work but I guess it could have been that the POS terminal wasn’t NFC capable. Bring on Samsung Pay.

  • Has here been any talk about Master Card?

  • ciderrules

    I hate these stupid proprietary Apps by the Big 5 banks. This is why they’re dragging their feet supporting Apple Pay (and by extension Samsung Pay). Because they want us to use their App instead.

    The last thing I want is to have a bunch of different Apps for each of my banks and credit cards when there’s already a way for me to use them all seamlessly with a single payment solution (like Appke Pay).

  • Lazy Ghost

    Works like a charm. Prefer this new update over UGO any day…and I really liked the convenience of UGO.

  • Daniel

    Have you SEEN the reviews for the app?! bugs glitches it doesn’t even have a native screen resolution for the 6, A phones that’s been out for at least a year. why would anyone support this app? Just allow Apple Pay and Samsung pay and be done with it. Instead they want to blow tons of money into funding a crappy developer to do some truly shitty work. I’m not trying to boost the two other pay methods but if you want to compete especially with something of the future u NEED IT TO WORK.

  • bluger

    HCE is a software architecture element for secure control of cards. I’m unsure how it replaces NFC, or how a handset communicates with a pinpad if not using NFC? Is the point of this that if your handset already has NFC, it will use the onboard NFC rather than a cell provider SIM card NFC?

    This story is a bit confusing and seems technically inaccurate.

  • Brent

    Tried it and it worked perfectly with my S6 Edge on Wind.

  • rgl168

    For some reason, I have a more difficult time in gettingthe TD app to get a successful payment though compared to RBC at Timmies. I have a number of failures getting trying to my phone to pay using TD, and for the times that it worked it took several tries in positioning the phone on the Verifone units. On the other hand, RBC worked much more consistently. The terminals at Loblaws did not have any issues, however.

    • Can’t Fix Stupid

      Similar experience. So far I tried the TD at McD’s and no dice, switched to RBC’s and it worked normally. Strange,

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