Android Pay confirmed to launch in Canada ‘in the coming months’


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  • John W

    Cool, I might have to relock my bootloader now…

    • slimdizzy

      Yes you will have to. Unlocked bootloaders cause SafetyNet to fail. US peeps have it working well with Magisk for root and Magisk Hide enabled. Google can break all that in one update though.

    • milfou

      All you need is a custom kernel that hides unlocked bootloader. That’s the simplest way.

  • Acrobat1991

    So I’m hoping to understand this Android Pay before it actually becomes live (seeing all the fuss about this). How is this different/better than what I can already do with my RBC app? I can tap and pay with my credit card already (up to $100/$125).

    can anyone explain to me what more will Android Pay do? Can I go over that $100 limit for example? Will it be a faster process when paying? Other benefits my RBC doesn’t provide?

    • Ben

      You have one app that has all of your cards linked to it and all of your loyalty cards as well. I have cards from 5 different banks that I use on a regular basis and loyalty cards, geez I don’t even know … Having 5 different banking apps and switching between them makes absolutely no sense.

      That is why Android Pay needs to be released. Other than driver license and health card, you can pretty much leave your wallet home/in the car for quick errands under 100$

      If you have ONLY RBC products, or ONLY Scotia, CIBC, etc… And don’t care about loyalty cards, you probably don’t care about/need Android Pay

    • Crazy Legs™

      And in BC, your health card is on the back of your driver’s licence, so one less card for me!

    • PΞTΞЯ™

      really?? that’s friggin awesome. so smart.

      I wished Passports and Nexus were intergrated too.. lol

    • Spencer Navarra-Chew

      Also, different banks have different standards and rules for their own apps. Some don’t allow debit cards, some require a secure element SIM or specific carriers. One universal system that ‘just works’ for everyone is the way to go!

    • Tap & Pay is of dubious benefit – like you said, everyone in Canada can already do that with their physical cards.

      But no 3rd party is going to bother integrating with the RBC app – which itself is a 3rd party app. Or any other individual bank’s app.

      Android pay will be a 1st party app (part of the operating system) so it will be everywhere. It should function much more reliably, on a wider variety of devices (RBC wallet was initially available on a couple of handsets), and 3rd party integrations are much more likely (think ordering pizza from the Dominos app that then uses Android pay).

    • Acrobat1991

      So if I understand the benefit to myself (only in this case), it would be when integrated in another app (like pizza as you mentionned) but otherwise, in a physical store, there is no advantage over my current RBC app (since I only have one credit card and with this bank only). It won’t be faster, it won’t give me more possibilities, etc. Just for integrating into other apps using Android Pay (to pay whatever) and for loyalty cards I may have (which I’m not sure I have! lol)

    • At this point in time, you are correct.

      But going forward I suspect banks will remove their own wallets and rely on Android Pay. Also manufacturers next generation of phones will make Android Pay easier to use.

      And I suspect Stocard and other loyalty card apps are breathing their last breaths.

    • thereasoner

      Unless they offer some kind of incentive/rewards for using Android Pay then you’re right that it’s no big deal. The convenience/speed argument in support of mobile payments over tap and pay with a card are weak at best. There are those who think it’s just cool and the ability to use a connected smartwatch is among the attractions that also includes better security. That said, it’s not like our cards are lacking security…so long as you don’t lose them.

    • Mitchell Leitman

      For one, the RBC app only works with RBC cards. I want to be able to use my RBC, BMO, Amex and National Bank cards in one app.

    • It’s Me

      A big benefit will be convenience and security. As I understand 3rd party banking apps, you have two choices:
      1) You need to unlock phone, open app and then tap to pay.
      2) You configure the app as unlocked in which case you can just tap and pay with no authentication.

      #1 is just horrible from a convenience point of view and you’d be better to just tap your card. #2 isn’t great because it means no authentication for payments, which is as bad as using your card.

      A 1st party system would allow the payments to be authenticated by the OS, say with a finger print scanner, while the phone is still locked. So you don’t have the inconvenience of having to unlock the phone and open and app yet you still maintain the security of authenticating each payment.

  • Ben

    Hopefully that is the coming months as in June or July … And not December. I feel like I have been trying to add my credit cards in the Android App daily for like 2 years now, at some point Google and/or the CC issuers will call me and ask me what is wrong with me.

    • Mayoo

      Only 2 years? 😉 I’m trying to use Wallet since the Nexus S!

      This world is full of tech potential that is wasted for various reasons. Like ignorance, laws, Apple (face it, if they don’t do it, it’s not cool), etc.

    • Ben

      I was gonna say 5 years but then someone would have argued that Android Pay has only been out since 2015, and then I would have gotten in argument that this is technically correct as before it was Google Wallet, but that regardless I have been trying since 2012 too, and then someone would have pointed out I should have said that in my post, and then …
      But yeah. Just release it asap, it’s been ridiculously long enough now. Also have been trying since I got my GNex

    • DownwithRobellus

      Wallet isn’t available to all Canadians

    • Kent Ratke

      True, but you can load wallet and/or Android pay via APK mirror. You can’t register a card, but you can put in your loyalty cards.

    • How!?

      I tried side loading the APK. And it recognizes the card I have on file (for Google Play purchases) but it would not let me past the Select a card screen because none of them are usable.

      How do I get to the point of being able to enter my loyalty cards? I’d like to compare Android Pay to Stocard.

    • Kent Ratke

      If you go into the new app downloaded from APKmirror, you can hit the “plus sign icon” and instead of hitting add a credit or debit card, hit add a loyalty program.

    • Not with latest version. It requires me to select a credit card as part of the Getting Started process. I can’t find a way past that credit card screen. There’s no “plus sign icon” on any either of the two screens I have access to.

    • Many99

      It was available for a short while but you only could add US loyalty cards

    • Kent Ratke

      Oh, that’s to bad. On the bright side, not much longer to wait now!

    • Mayoo

      It was installed on my Nexus S without side loading. Same goes for Pay right now. Always had it on my N5. In fact I always had Wallet/Pay on all Nexus past S.

  • Mayoo

    You really thing geography matters for a virtual feature? I agree that we are ready to use it since the very beginning but geography is not a good argument here.

  • In the coming feels like in december…, at best…, I was hoping for Android apps on my Chromebook in 2016…, we’re almost halway through 2017 and they are not even on developper channel for my device.

  • TP

    Meanwhile in the other parts of the world, ‘HandPay’ system is now in public – you register encrypted code of your blood vessel pattern of your hand to your account. Store has a 360′ scan system, so you just place the items on the checkout section. They are scanned automatically, then when asked to pay, you just show your palm above the terminal scanner…….I think this would be the ultimate ideal payment system. No need to register your card in your phone, no NFC, chip, phone required, and blood vessel pattern is much more secure and harder to copy than fingerprints. Not excited about Android Pay anymore. This is like..what, 7 year old technology?

    • Ideally that would be great and it could be done now with little effort but everyone is racing to save the world by doing the same things over and over and calling it innovation.

      The bio metric testing they are doing with the payment bracelet is the closes thing to something more ideal and easy for spending.

  • orangedude

    Not compatible with Android O. Says it’ll work in the “next” version. Scotiabank app also has no more reference to Mobile Wallet on Android O.

    Guess I’ll ditch O and go back to N.

    • George

      wow, you have the final version of Android O running already and you know for a fact that it doesn’t work? Can I borrow your time machine?

    • orangedude

      Seeing I said Android O, which is still the beta name (because if it was final, it would have a name or a version number), I stand by my previous comment: Android Pay does not work on Android O.

      You don’t have anything better to do?

    • George

      That is some profound information you have. So a developer preview version of an OS doesn’t work with Android Pay.. hmm.. geez.. I wonder if this ever happened when Android N DP was rolling out.. Maybe someone wrote off Android Pay working on Android N also…

      Please keep standing by your comment, I have my popcorn ready.

  • Ben

    The only logical reason at this point is that something either at the government level or bank level in Canada has made this more complicated for Google to get this implemented than other countries like Belgium Ireland, Australia, Poland, New Zealand … As from a business standpoint, we technically have more population than a lot of these countries (except maybe Poland?) so it should have come to us sooner .. But then again Russia has 4x more people and doesn’t have it yet. So go figure what the real reasons are.

  • Leif Shantz

    Finally Google confirms Android Pay will come to Canada!!! I’m​ looking forward to people who stare blankly in disbelief at me when I pay with my phone.

    • Kent Ratke

      You can do this already with most major banking apps.

    • I see a lot of people, myself included, who use Stocard to store their loyalty cards. I don’t think anyone is surprised by people using phones at check-out any more.

    • Ben

      Agree. When I first tried this with Galaxy Nexus and a US card (just for fun) back in 2012 (yes, this could have been working in Canada as of 5 years ago already) I remember the cashier’s face (older lady) … But now, using Stocard at Shoppers, Best Buy, Staples, etc… No surprises there.

    • Apple Pay on Apple Watch still creates suprised faces, though. ????

  • Two things:
    1. Banking regulations in Canada are much stricter so it takes longer for Google to get setup to be a payment processor; and
    2. Banks in Canada have no incentive to share any revenue with Google – Android Pay doesn’t do anything for them, everyone’s credit card & debit card already does tap & pay. It’s just the in-app & online integration of Android Pay that’s of any interest.

    Oh, and of course the usual: given the other two reasons we’re so few people it’s not really worth it.

    • DownwithRobellus

      You can replace “Google” with “Apple” in everything you just said yet they hit the market 1-2 years before Google.

    • They launched with Amex. ’nuff said.

      But also on Apple devices the banks couldn’t use the NFC chip in their own app, only Apple apps were allowed to use it. So the only way for the banks to support mobile payments on iOS was through Apple Pay.

    • DownwithRobellus

      Who launched with Amex? Also, “for the banks to support mobile payments on iOS was through Apple Pay” is false. Ever heard of UGO? They partnered up with TD to be able to use TD credit cards to pay using their app.

    • No go UGO!

      On iOS it only does loyalty cards, i.e.: bar codes not NFC. Same as Stocard.

      On Android it uses NFC for some of the TD credit cards. It’s essentially TD’s mobile wallet solution (PCF was promised but the FAQ isn’t clear if it’s available yet).

  • Actionable Conclusion

    Who seriously cares. There was a lot of hype surrounding Apple Pay and while many used it out of the novelty it became, I still see more using actual cards at checkout than their phones. This stuff is all a gimmick and I’m still not comfortable with what could happen if you ever lose the phone.

    • DownwithRobellus

      “Who really cares?” Not sure where you have been shopping but I’ve seen iPhones being used on a regular basis to pay for items. So much easier than grabbing your wallet out and if you happen to lose your phone, you still have your credit card.

      You sound like the same people I see wait in line to pay their bill when you could do it over your phone or computer.

    • Mr Dog


      If you lose your phone, no one can use your cards stored on your phone unless they know your PIN or Fingerprint.
      If you lose your card people can go around tapping it.

      If you lose your phone, your credit card #’s are not compromised and don’t need a new card
      If you lose your card, you have to call, cancel your card and get a new one.

    • Actionable Conclusion

      It’s been demonstrated that tricking a device with a fake fingerprint can happen. No technology is infallible and there is no greater security benefit to these payment methods than using your own card.
      It’s just a fancy method of paying for stuff that a very small fraction of people bother with.

    • Mr Dog

      Are you serious?
      That is like saying, I should keep by door open because no matter what I do someone can break into my house.

      The average person or criminal is not going to be able to ‘trick’ the device, or be bothered with the effort because it would not be worth their time.

      Time taken to ‘trick’ lost device with fake fingerprints by the average person: ATLEAST a few hours (If they have a good copy of your fingerprint).

      Time taken to use your lostcredit card: 0s

    • thereasoner

      Agreed. I’ll set it up as a backup payment method in case I forget my wallet just like I did with my bank app. Maybe I would use it if reward points or other incentives are offered otherwise it doesn’t offer anything I really need.

    • Omar

      As a cashier, I can vouche for that. Vast majority of the customers I work with use their cards. With cards having a tap function there’s really no need for Google Pay (or even the alternatives) but I guess we’re too lazy to have to pull out our wallets and slide out a card to use. Or too busy texting while the cashier puts your stuff in bags.

    • I have the habit of reaching for my card as I approach the cashier. I kinda have to remember to use Apple Pay. Great system but not quite a habit for me yet.

    • thereasoner

      With both Apple and Android Pay I’d be worried that it won’t work and then you basically look like a tool. At least with Samsung Pay it will work on any payment terminals.

  • DownwithRobellus

    It’s so freaking sad when we had contactless payment systems in place way before the US. Canada getting shafted by Google pretty hard!

  • Mitchell Leitman

    I like the “around the clock” statement. There are only 5 big banks in Canada (7 if you include National Bank and Desjardins). They can get Android Pay running in the most screwed up banking system in the Western world (ie. USA) but can’t get it done here? Hell, if Apple and Samsung can do it, why can’t they?

    • Apple: see my comment below.

      Samsung: not really (its still beta – or “Early access” as they say).

    • thereasoner

      We have a well established interact system that mobile payment services must be compatible with unlike the U.S.A and unlike Apple, Android has dozens of different devices from over a dozen different OEMs making the task somewhat more time consuming I would presume.

    • ciderrules

      Android Pay is standardized and doesn’t need checking with various devices to see if it works. And it uses the same basic EMV tokenization system Apple Pay uses so it’s not like the banks have a lot of custom software coding to do to make it work.

      The real reason is that iOS users spend 5x as much as Android users. It comes down to money, and banks are going to support the platform that gets used the most first.

    • thereasoner

      My TD app is device specific for mobile payments so apparently it does matter.

    • George

      No, it does NOT matter, the TD app is not device specific. As long as you on Android 4.4 or later, it will use Host Card Emulation to process.

      SafetyNet is in place to verify if a phone’s system files were modified or not. Of course there are ways around this too, but there are more banks running with this than the 7 that’s not in Canada.

    • thereasoner

      It certainly was when it first launched. I know because despite having a phone above Android 4.4 and NFCy phone did not make the cut. In fact less the a dozen phones were eligible at first. That and while I can’t find a current list of supported devices yet TD mobile payments site made a reference to modified(“customized”) Android devices may not be supported (last paragraph).

      “What do I need to start using TD Mobile Payment?
      Ask Us
      We matched that to:

      What do I need to start using TD Mobile Payment?

      To start making purchases with TD Mobile Payment, you will need:

      Card requirements:
      • An eligible TD Visa Card.
      • EasyWeb login and access to the TD app.

      Smartphone requirements:
      • A compatible smartphone with an operating system (OS) of Android KitKat 4.4 or higher.
      • A smartphone that is enabled with Near Field Communication (NFC) for contactless payments, and Host Card Emulation (HCE).
      • Data or wireless connectivity.

      Please note: Android smartphones that have been rooted, or have customized systems, are not compatible with TD Mobile Payment”

      Could be that at this point TD has expanded to all Android phones 4.4 and above with NFC but the list of supported devices initially was quite small.

    • George

      Yes, I believe you that this was the case. But it has since been updated and it’s be quite a while, just wanted to make sure other readers aren’t mislead.

    • thereasoner

      I understand. I was just making the point to cider that if TD only supported so many devices at first then there must be some sort of verification process involved for all the various Android Pay capable phones that would delay it’s roll out compared to the iPhone/Apple Pay that obviously doesn’t need to contend with this issue because there is only one iPhone/iOS OEM. Otherwise TD could have supported all 4.4 and above Android devices with NFC from the start.

    • George

      I don’t know exactly when TD switched from NFC to HCE, but development takes time, so not switching IMMEDIATELY when 4.4 was released can be expected.

    • George

      your presumption is wrong. There’s no need to cater to specific Android OEMs or different models, as long as it runs Android 4.4 or later, HCE will handle to process.

      I had a chuckle when you said “well established interac system”

    • thereasoner

      Yes, I ment that our interac debit card system has been in place for a long time compared to the U.S.A that are only recently moving away from the old magstripe/swipe tech.

    • Could just be politics. Working for Bank or Government will show you that the smallest and most simple thing would take months or years or not happen at all due to a political process that no one can explain or cares to speed up.

      Likely a flick of a switch to get it going in Canada and we have to wait months.

    • thereasoner

      I’ve also wondered if the banks are just using Apple Pay as a sort of test bed first before other mobile payments solutions are available. On the other hand, to listen to Google talk, it may be Google themselves dragging their feet as opposed to the banks.

    • could be Google dragging their feet or a combination of the two which explains the length. If it was anything ad related it would have been here in 96 but this isn’t a core focus for Google so they could likely care less.

    • thereasoner

      Lol, I’m sure that the Android Pay app will have a banner ad at the bottom while open. I’d be shocked of it didn’t.

      Either way, Google does want to be competitive so obviously they care about this particular feature imo with both Apple and Samsung bringing it.

    • That wouldn’t surprise me either. And I am sure they care, it just isn’t enough to put much of a rush on it. When ad revenue is over 90% of you income, you wouldn’t really focus much on this. They just keep it going for us so we feel valued for them “keeping up” with competition.

    • thereasoner

      Personally, I’m thinking the opposite is true. Google’s profits from mobile have surpassed those from desktops for a couple of years now and continue to pull away, mobile ads are huge for them. If anything with Google doing so much in Android 7 to catch up to Samsung on the feature front and the fact that mobile is their bread and butter platform moving forward tells me that they take Android/features very seriously.

      I never had that impression from Google in the past with their Nexus line however. They, much like Apple, seemed to be content with being a year or so behind in the latest features, 2 or more years behind in Apple’s case, but that seems to have changed now with the introduction of premium Google devices and the bleeding edge features available now. Apple on the other hand can get away without caring and being way behind in features, even worse, they can release junk like Apple Maps and a thoroughly inadequate Siri when they first launched and get away with it. Google and their partners have no such leeway with consumers so they, unlike Apple, must care or pay the price of lost customers.

    • You are speaking about phones and hardware which they don’t make money from. Samsung isn’t a contender in terms of ads, its more Facebook. Apple hardly makes anything from Apple Pay. Just a play to get you to buy an iphone which is where they make their money.

      Its all smoke and mirrors.

    • thereasoner

      “You are speaking about phones and hardware which they don’t make money from”

      I’ll just leave this here because apparently you missed it the first time.
      “profits from mobile ads have surpassed those from desktops for a couple of years now and continue to pull away, mobile ads are huge for them. If anything with Google doing so much in Android 7 to catch up to Samsung on the feature front and the fact that mobile is their bread and butter platform moving forward tells me that they take Android/features very seriously”

  • Jon Snow

    The tap to pay function is finicky at best, so I am often stuck with unpaid merchandise if I didn’t bring my actual wallet. They need to improve the reliability of the terminals before expanding to Android Pay.

    • Omar

      I don’t think you should ever leave your house without a wallet, even if tap-to-pay works flawlessly. Even one of those slim card slot wallets. Be prepared for anything.

    • Brad Fortin

      That’s a solution I’ve seen a few people in my social circle take: Put the majority of their cards on their phone and just carry a slim wallet or slim wallet case for things like ID, cash, and one physical card for places like Walmart that don’t take tap yet.

    • Omar

      I’ve noticed a lot of people doing that too. Or they have a wallet case for their phone with their cards and some cash in it.

    • ciderrules

      Finicky? I buy around $2,000 a month (well over 100 transactions) and I do them all with Apple Pay. Very rarely do I ever have an issue, and even then it’s something simple like re-tapping. I find the terminals here (Vancouver) to be very reliable.

    • Jon Snow

      Depends on where you go. Shoppers drug mart mostly works, Tims and Mcd’s not as well, Petro Canada self serve pumps are the worst. From my experience Apple Pay does work better than those Android Apps.

  • Frank King

    Why do I have to scroll through all these featured crap, related crap, ads, and this garbage to access the comments?
    This page has so much crap to load even a N6P is struggling to render it.
    Very effective way to kill a website.

  • Chris

    After years of buying Nexus devices and Google failing to include Canada in so many things, I switched to iPhone last year. And Google includes so much on iPhone anyways. Sometimes before their own platform. Think I’m going to stay for now unless Pixel 2 has some jaw dropping features. Too late on this one Google. Android pay worked here many years ago. Should’ve just unlocked it for us.

  • elevtechlift

    I really hope that when Android Pay launches, they have a longer list of launch partners than Apple and Samsung. In addition to the big 5, they better also include credit unions (e.g. Vancity, Coast Capital Savings, Westminster Savings, etc.) and multinational banks (e.g. CTBC, HSBC, KEB Hana, Shinhan Bank, etc.).

    • thereasoner

      …or even worse, it only works with one bank at first like Samsung Pay.

      Personally, I have no problem waiting because I’ll just set it up on my Pixel as a backup payment method should I ever forget my wallet at home. I’ve had TD Mobile Payments for quite awhile now and I’ve tried it a total of 2 times when I first set it up( it only worked once). Maybe I’ll use them more often if some incentive or awards are offered otherwise probably not.

    • I’m not sure if you’ve forgotten but when Apple Pay first launched in Canada in November 2015, those who had American Express cards were the only ones were able to use Apple Pay. It wasn’t until May of last year that the major banks started signing on allowing their customers to use Apple Pay. Likewise with Samsung Pay, it initially launched with CIBC as it’s sole partner in November but hopefully the other Canadian banks will sign on sometime later this year. It sucks for sure to have to wait for the other banks to be added as partners for Samsung Pay but it will happen eventually.

  • Nundo

    Is anybody else tired of Google using the phrases “coming soon” “soon” “in the coming months” “eventually”. I think instead of using such phrases, an actual launch day would work, otherwise why announce it without an actual date given?

  • Sammy80

    I have Samsung Pay and it works flawlessly with any type of credit card terminal, whether tap, chip or magnetic strip. I couldn’t care less whether Android Pay launches in Canada or not and I suspect those whose banks are Samsung Pay partners wouldn’t care either.

    • XY

      Samsung pay is only available with “select CIBC cards”
      I have been waiting for something to come up that i can use. i do not have a “bank” credit card, i have a CTC MC but no tap service works with it yet. Canada is so behind on banking technology in general (aka Fintech)

  • Shawn

    Apple once again beat Google to the punch despite not having the necessary hardware for years. NFC has been a big part of Android for a while. Get your s**t together Google. Stop treating us like second class users!

    *At least I can use my RBC wallet app to pay with my phone.

  • Nytetyme

    The life of a tech-forward Canadian: hurry up and wait.

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  • Rabid Rotty

    Remember when Canada was the leader in tech and communications? I do, to bad with so much regulation and government interference we have been relegated to 2nd world status.