What Android Pay means for mobile payments in Canada

Android Pay

After a seemingly endless wait, Canadian Android users finally have access to Android Pay, about a year after Apple brought its iPhone mobile payments platform to Canada with Apple Pay, and seven months after Samsung Pay soft-launched its service in partnership with CIBC.

With mobile payments now fully available on both major mobile operating systems, the last piece has seemingly fallen into place for Canada’s mobile payments ecosystem. But are Canadians really ready to adopt this new way of paying? MobileSyrup spoke with several experts on the current state of mobile payments in Canada today and projections for the future.

What is Android Pay?

For those less familiar with the concept of Android Pay and mobile payments in specific, Android Pay uses Near Field Communication (NFC) — a technology that’s built-in to the majority of modern smartphones and allows two devices within 4 cm of each other to communicate — to pass a ‘token’ that represents (but does not reveal) a customer’s actual credit or debit card number from their phone to the merchant’s payments machine.

From a software perspective, all the user needs is a phone that’s running a non-developer version of Android 4.4 or above. With those prerequisites, the user can then simply download the Android Pay app to get started. For a more in-depth tutorial, check out our how-to here.

The platform arrived in Canada on May 31st, 2017 — almost two years after it first launched in the U.S. during Google’s 2015 I/O developer conference. As of launch, it supports credit cards from BMO, CIBC, Banque Nationale, Scotiabank, Desjardins, President’s Choice Financial, ATB Financial and Canadian Tire Financial Services.

American Express cards and Tangerine are also coming soon, according to Google (though Tangerine offered a less certain sentiment), and select Interac debit cards will also go live on the platform starting June 5th.

Unlike Apple Pay, which confirmed all five major banks at launch, that list of banks notably leaves out two heavy-hitting Canadian banks — the Royal Bank of Canada and TD Canada Trust.

RBC and TD push back

RBC and TD have opted out of Android Pay for now, both have kept the door open to joining Android Pay in the future — evidently a good PR move, since both have been receiving a high rate of requests that they support the platform on social media from customers.

The banks’ respective statements give a good indication of why Android Pay is off the table for the time being, with both referring customers to use their own Android mobile payments apps — an issue that didn’t affect Apple because the company doesn’t allow third parties to access NFC capabilities, which disallows banks from creating their own digital wallet solutions for that platform.

Robert Smythe, financial insights associate at the IDC Canada research firm, suggested to MobileSyrup that if Google offered more value to banks in the form of data and ownership, both parties would benefit.

“With more value for both their customers and themselves, the banks would be more willing to promote [Android Pay],” said Smythe.

Promotion, he noted, has been sorely lacking for mobile payments so far in the technology’s Canadian history.

“With more value for both their customers and themselves, the banks would be more willing to promote [Android Pay],” said Smythe.

Jason Davies, vice-president of digital payments at Mastercard also suggested the lag was due to the banks hanging on to their own technology.

“I think eventually perhaps they will but it’s one of those things where they obviously have a very, very good digital strategy and they’ll engage with Android Pay when it’s best for their organization and their customers,” said Davies.

Jeff Guthrie, chief sales officer at Moneris, a dominant supplier of payment terminals to merchants across Canada, disagreed on the banks’ motives for not supporting Android Pay.

“I don’t think it’s a rejection of that technology, it’s just that there’s work to be done to enable the technology within their infrastructure and set up the ability for customers to sign on and configure their cards […] but it will happen,” he said.

Lowered expectations for penetration

Just how much does Android Pay change the mobile payments scene in Canada? Experts are split on the matter, but in general there was slightly less confidence in a quick adoption rate than there was after Apple Pay’s launch — which is counter-intuitive considering a large portion of Canadian mobile owners are Android users.

But Smythe says the portion of Canadian Android users that exist are not as large as the public might think.

“We’re seeing Apple iPhones are in the low 50 percent penetration rate, we’re seeing Android in the high 40 percent penetration rate and the gap of the feature phones is probably in the two to three percent range,” said Smythe.

This is a decrease from studies done last year, and is just one of the reasons that Smythe is much less optimistic about the quick adoption of mobile payments than when we last spoke.

Not as quick an uptake as predicted

“My intuition was wrong,” said Smythe about his prediction that Canada would hit 50 percent penetration by 2019. “It’s going to be into the 2020s before we see that sort of heavy penetration. Unless something dramatically changes — and I think that would have to be Apple providing bank access to NFC capabilities, and the ability of banks to really enhance the capabilities of their mobile wallets to really entice people to use mobile payments.”

Smythe bases his opinions on insights published in IDC Canada’s Consumer Survey of Digital Banking Expectations and Experiences — Payments, published in May 2017.

While tap has become more prevalent — Moneris says 38 percent of its three billion transactions last quarter were contactless — the survey revealed that 55 percent of Canadians think the use of pin and card is perfectly convenient, or at least not inconvenient.

Only 22 percent of respondents said they would use any form of mobile payment — Apple, Android or Samsung Pay.

“That doesn’t make mobile payments and tap payments that much more interesting to the consumer,” says Smythe.

Meanwhile, only 22 percent of respondents said they would use any form of mobile payment — Apple, Android or Samsung Pay. In terms of actual usage, IDC found that only one percent of survey participants used Apple Pay daily and two percent weekly, across all age segments. Only in the 25 to 29 age range did that spoke to five percent weekly.

Smythe says part of the disinterest in mobile payments seems linked to the lack of loyalty reward programs. According to IDC’s survey, 44 percent of respondents across all ages were more interested in mobile payments if there was a loyalty link and that increased to about 59 percent in the 25 to 29 age range.

Cautious optimism

Gerry Gaetz, president and CEO of Payments Canada was also cautious in his predictions, stating that within a three to five-year time period, the technology will likely become mainstream due to the convergence of a continued drive for convenience from consumers, an improvement in mobile computing power and capabilities and the underlying payments ‘rail’ (technology and network) that Payments Canada is working to build along with Canadian financial institutions and other stakeholders in the industry.

“These [new technologies] often start slower than you would think and then they often pick up with more speed and sometimes at a certain point they move faster than you’d think,” adding that in a recent Payments Pulse Survey done by the association they found only 13 percent of Canadians using mobile wallets, but that the satisfaction rate was quite high at 83 percent.

“I think that’s an indicator. If people are really happy with something then it’s going to pick up and the word’s going to get out.”

Android Pay

Davies of Mastercard is also optimistic about the effects of Android Pay on the Canadian mobile payments scene, though he too cautioned that adoption would take time.

“It’s not going to be a sprint, it’s going to be a marathon,” he said, adding that he believes there will be a “five-year time horizon for adoption.” He predicts the adoption rate for mobile payments will mirror adoption for contactless payment, which took “five years before it became a ubiquitous piece of a person’s payments arsenal.”

Roadblocks to adoption

Canada’s robust tap-to-pay infrastructure makes it in many ways an ideal market for mobile payments. Interac, for instance, tells MobileSyrup that over half a million merchant locations are flash-enabled and Moneris predicts that half of its transactions will be contactless within the year. However, several experts still see some major roadblocks to adoption.

“Some of the things we see from our survey are for example privacy and security, which are really important to Canadians,” though he notes that in the association’s latest Payments Pulse Survey, 48 percent of respondents were willing to give up some aspects of their personal information in order to get the convenience of a mobile payments app.

“The banks have been tracking their spending on credit cards for many years without the consumer seeing any detrimental impact,” said Smythe.

Smythe notes that Canadians trust their banks more than large tech companies like Apple and Google when it comes privacy and security.

“The banks have been tracking their spending on credit cards for many years without the consumer seeing any detrimental impact.”

While Smythe doesn’t think there’s actually a risk that people’s bank accounts will be compromised with any degree of frequency through digital wallets, he notes there’s “a bit of concern there,” which might be assuaged by linking bank wallets and Android Pay more closely.

“I think integration with bank wallets would be an important facet,” says Smythe, adding that, “integration of loyalty is important and making the whole setup and use of mobile payments as easy as tap.”

A case of ‘forming habits’

“I think it’s a case of forming habits and developing new habits,” says Guthrie of Moneris, adding that people are “very much copy cats, we see the person in front of us and think ‘Oh wow, I think I can do that too,’ and so it is one of those things that sort of builds upon itself and that’s what we saw with the conversion from chip to tap and now to mobile.”

While experts espoused less optimism this year than the previous year about quick adoption of mobile payments technology, the overall outlook is still positive for mobile payments platforms.

Though mobile payments may not go mainstream for many years yet, there’s a clear roadmap for the technology in the adoption of contactless technology, and now that a much larger demographic of Canadians than ever before has access to the technology — including the significant group of Android users that are passionate early adopters — usage is only likely to go up from here.


  • EChid

    I’ve been using it since it launched and it’s great. It even saved me in the precise scenario it is supposed to: I wanted to buy something but had left my wallet at home. I plan on getting my brother and dad onboard with this, and have recommended it to my colleagues.

    • thereasoner

      This is the reason I set up my banks mobile payments, in the event that I forget my wallet. Mind you that’s happened just 2-3 times over the last 10 or so years but it’s still good to have a backup in place.

  • ciderrules

    The primary reason I use Apple Pay vs tapping my card (and both methods are fast/easy) is privacy/security.

    And this is the one area Apple doesn’t promote. People I’ve talked to don’t even know that a token is used in place of your real card number and there’s no way for someone to “skim” your phone. Many think it’s LESS secure because it’s just another place your card number is stored.

    I have a feeling Apple is not allowed to promote this because to do so would be calling regular tap & pay cards insecure (or less secure). Something I don’t think the banks or issuers really want. Otherwise I can’t understand why they wouldn’t show the security aspect more instead of only showing the convenience.

    • Onemonthmember

      Android Pay also works by creating a token that’s used in place of your real credit card. We’ll find out next week how their debit card functionality works.

    • Like Samsung Pay, Android Pay also generates a digital card number for every credit / debit card added to Android Pay. This digital card number is the one that’s transmitted to the payment terminal every time instead of the number on your physical card.

    • It’s Me

      Android Pay also uses tokenization. As does Samsung Pay.

    • ciderrules

      I’m aware of that. The issue is that it’s not promoted for its primary advantages (privacy/security) and all the ads I see are more about convenience.

      I find this very odd, as it’s the best part about using your phone over a card.

    • It’s Me

      Tokenization is mostly a buzzword at this point that gives being a sense of security, whether they understand what it means or not. To be honest, it’s not worth promoting too much. Those that don’t understand it will just be confused and those that only know the buzzword will already feel secure.

      Tokenization is a part of the entire EMV standard, but there are varied implementations. In some, for instance when using a card or some phone based systems, the card data is in fact transmitted, albeit in encrypted form, and then a tokenization service returns a token to the merchant. This token should be all the merchant sees, even though the PAN [cc number] was actually transmitted originally. The advantage of this is the tokens are constantly changing, except when the system supports multi-pay tokens, which allow the merchant to perform payments using the same token.

      Although Apple was one of the first to implement the EMV standard, their implementation is a little different than most others. The token for iPhones is generated when the CC is added to Apple Pay on that phone and is used for all subsequent transactions, until and unless the token is refreshed (say by removing the card and re-adding it or some enforced refresh period). The token is stored in the Secure Enclave/Secure Element on the phone itself. Along with the token, however, Apple also generates a cryptogram, which is a one-time use value. Their tokens cannot being used without a valid cryptogram and can only be used once and only from the device that generated it.

      Android Pay brings in elements of both models. The also use tokenization, obviously, but the the tokens are stored in the cloud because of their dependency on HCE. But that would restrict Android users to only performing transactions when connected to data, so a multi-pay token is also stored somewhere in the OS, though not in a physically secured element, to allow a small number of offline purchases. The cryptographic keys are also stored in the OS. The security of Android Pay then is limited to the vulnerability of the OS to exploits that might expose these software based stores.

      Samsung Pay will be more similar to Apple Pay, in terms of not having to rely on HCE and software security.

      From a security perspective, Android Pay is pretty solid, though it is a given that hardware based systems can be more secure. The privacy side is much less certain with Android Pay compared to Samsung or Apple Pay. Google spent a lot of time and money crafting a google ID for everyone that is able to tie real-world activity like purchases to online activity, like browsing.

      Google says it anonymizes the data it uses to identify users in ad tracking by converting all personal information to a string of characters. Neither Google nor third-parties can connect that value to a real person. So, technically all an advertiser knows is that unique ID saw an ad online and then showed up in a store to buy something. The only difference now is that your unique ID will be popping up in real life.”

      Real world perma tracking cookie.

    • thereasoner

      ” Real world perma tracking cookie that will be tied to all of your Android Pay transactions.”

      Actually you’re under no obligation to have your browsing history tracked in order to use Android Pay and those that don’t participate in targeted ads obviously can’t have there anonymous purchases tied to ad views.

    • It’s Me

      Well, that would assume such opt out settings are honoured. But when a company has been repeatedly caught and even charged with ignoring and circumventing privacy and do no track settings, it’s perhaps overly trusting to assume you aren’t being tracked when you opt out. You certainly could be, but you may not be.

      But, passed the assumptions, we do have some facts.
      1) Google spent millions and millions developing google wallet and android pay and gives it away from free. They are a business and there is an upside for them in there somewhere. Their business is data and user info.
      2) they spend years and a lot of money developing the real life tracking cookie ID, which admittedly can tie purchases to online activity, though there is a claim you can opt out.
      3) they’ve been repeatedly caught violating privacy/do not track settings.

    • thereasoner

      I’m only stating the facts as reported, I don’t need to deal in presumption. It does however seem to me that you’re the one being presumptuous here. You can presume the worst about any company based on past accusations like that Apple continues to covertly practice illegal anti-trust behavior because they were convicted and fined almost half a billion dollars for exactly that but so what? It means absolutely nothing ! If that’s not bad enough, you’re presuming that they would lie in an effort to gain what they’re already getting anyways without said lies, it doesn’t even make sense !

      Google is going to change the ad game and it will have a dramatic affect for both them and their partners and they can easily do that without any of the presumptuous accusations you’re putting forth. They have billions of users, even if a small minority are currently willing participants to targeted ads/browser tracking then they already have 100’s of millions of WILLING PARTICIPANTS ! During elections pollsters can extrapolate election results from polls of just a couple of thousand people and do so within 2-3 percentage points of error. Google has 100’s of millions of WILLING PARTICIPANTS, they can easily extract the data they’re looking for without any of the paranoid shenanigans you’re proposing!
      -they don’t need to identify real users
      -they don’t need to track those who don’t want to be tracked
      -they don’t need to lie about making it anonomous
      They get what they want without doing any of that so they’d have nothing to gain but a whole lot to lose in tracking people needlessly or lying about privacy.

      It would be one thing if after all our exchanges on this topic you could come up with some other specific benefit to Google for lying that they’re not already getting without lying but you as yet haven’t come up with anything. They simply don’t need to increase their numbers beyond the staggering amount of WILLING PARTICIPANTS they already have, the business improvement/money aspect is covered without your presumptions. Can you not come up with anything?

      Google’s got this, no shenanigans are required, it’s​ done, lock stock and barrel with those who already participate in targeted ads, all these people need to do is use Android Pay and Google will eventually have 100’s of millions from which they can improve the ads offers by partners. So if adding more people against their will or lying about privacy isn’t going to make any difference because Google already has enough willing participants then why would they bother? That’s a question you just can’t seem to answer.

      I’m thinking that you need to consult with your bosses at Apple HQ and come up with a better angle for your anti-Google scaremongering because this sky is falling hysteria over this presumption that Google is lying when they can accomplish their goals without doing that is falling flat on it’s face, it doesn’t even make any sense. Perhaps you could create some hysteria with an NSA or CIA angle? Or how about Google conspiring with ???? Aliens even? , Lol, you guys might be able to come up with an argument that isn’t so full of holes.

    • It’s Me

      I listed 3 facts. Challenge them. Don’t write a book fluffing google, challenge the facts. You can’t. Your entire post is naive wishful thinking.

      You keep saying you can opt out of tracking. And sometimes I actually think you believe that. But it’s an assumption as to whether opting out does anything. They’ve been caught ignoring exactly those types of settings before, why believe them now?

      Fool you once, same on me. Fool you dozens of time and you’re just sort of a dimwit that deserves it. Fool you and get you defend the behaviour? Well, that’s the goal when you’re hiring a fluffer I guess.

    • thereasoner

      Lmao! Do I really have to provide numbers for you and abbreviate just so you’ll understand, what are you 12?

      Fair enough then,
      Your first “fact’
      1. That Google will do something now because of the past is actually called SPECULATION son, lol. It’s NOT a fact!
      In fact it doesn’t even make sense since Google can accomplish their goals with willing participants!

      2. Yes, they spent a lot of time and money devising a system that can allow for user anonymity via a randomly generated ID that can’t be tied to a real person. They can use this system to show advertising partners how effective or not specific ads are by the percentage of people who bought the product advertised after viewing the ad. You can not only choose not to opt (despite your speculation) into web browser tracking necessary for the system to work you’ll also need to use Chrome and Android Pay… AND AGAIN, Google can accomplish their goals without the need to cheat, they have a ton of willing participants that can provide the necessary data.

      3. Your 3rd “fact”is (actually number 1 again) absolutely irrelevant when such actions aren’t even required for this system to work. AGAIN, you need to ignore the huge user base of WILLING PARTICIPANTS in targeted ads that Google ALREADY HAS in order to draw your presumptuous conclusion!

    • It’s Me

      Oh sweetheart, I’m so sorry you try so hard but fail every time.

      1) what speculation? They are a business that wants to make money. They make money from data. They created an ID to gather data. They created Android Pay because it fits their business. As much you might hope and dream, they didn’t do it because they love you. They do things as a business for their business. And their business is data. Duh.

      2) I know you don’t understand computery or maths type stuff, but you previous said that ID was generated based on all of your personal info. You said that. That’s not randomly generated. That’s not random. Stop using words you don’t understand. It’s embarrassing. You’re too old to act like a fool all the time.

      It’s also not anonymous. That’s what an identifier is. It’s the exact opposite of anonymous. Duh. Again, stop using words above your education level.

      It’s an ID designed to ID. It’s an ID designed to track. It’s an ID.

      3) I said they did it in the past. Repeatedly. Based on that track record of exactly that behaviour, what makes you think it’s different this time? You honestly sound like an abuse victim…”he won’t do it again, he really loves me”. I never said they would continue to act as they always have, you assumed that. I said it’s the way they have acted. Try to deny it…I’ll wait.

    • thereasoner

      I’m not surprised that you ignored 4 and 5, if you weren’t already destroy they certainly finished you off. Personally, I only got this far on this post before I realized that you gave up;
      “but you previous said that ID was generated based on all of your personal info”
      Again, your words placed in my mouth. You couldn’t have picked a better way to admit that you lost this debate… and badly at that, then to resort to those kinds of tactics!

      My job is done ….and it was easy !

    • It’s Me

      Dimwit, you pasted it. Are you so senile you forget already? Let me remind you genius.

      Google says it anonymizes the data it uses to identify users in ad tracking by converting all

    • thereasoner

      Lmao! Just as predicted!

      No need to be so bitter, it’s not the first time you’ve lost a debate to me and it surely won’t be the last. You might as well get used to it 🙂

    • It’s Me

      Bitter to lose a debate to you? I probably would be. But that’s never happened.

      I present facts to you, you either ignore those facts or pretend they don’t matter. You say one thing and then deny your own words when it’s finally explained to you, in words you understand, that what you copied actually proved your own position to be wrong.

      I know you don’t like it when I show you to be wrong, but it seems to happen every day so you really should be used to it.

      But the absolute best is when you keep using words you don’t understand. You remind of that old comedy skit with the challenged guy that used all the wrong words. “Google isn’t randomness patronizing their users. They said they castrate everyone and I tokenize them.” 😀 you are pure comedy gold when you’re fluffing.

      Are you the smartest guy working night shift in the factory? Honest question. Most of them seem to know their place and that they would look silly talking about things they clearly don’t understand. But you seem downright uppity for your place in life. Good for you! Don’t take shlt for being below others 😛

    • ciderrules

      None of this changes my original point.

      A significant source for card data is modified POS terminals (we’ve had high profile cases here in Vancouver of this). And here’s a recent one.

      Even if the merchant behaves responsibly and doesn’t try to track you (privacy issue), you can still have someone skim card details when people use regular cards (security issue). This simply isn’t possible with Apple Pay, Android Pay or Samsung Pay. And to me it’s the only reason to use them, since tapping a card or phone is pretty much the same as far as convenience.

      Edited: Guess my post can’t show a link?

      There was a case in Winnipeg a couple weeks ago where 4 people were caught replacing POS terminals at stores with modified versions to collect card data.

  • Hopefully they add paypal support in Canada so we can sidestep banks that don’t support it directly

    • Paypal support with Android Pay will come eventually to Canada but it may not happen until next year at the earliest. Google recently added Paypal support within Android Pay in the US.

    • gremlin0007

      From what I’ve read so far, it seems that Paypal for AP is just Paypal acting like a gift card that you need to load before using. meh… I might be wrong though.

  • thereasoner

    For me mobile payments represent a backup to how I would pay. Cash and cards will remain my go to solution unless compelling promotions/incentives are offered. Even then I’d still rather not introduce a 3rd party to my transactions when I can use my own banks Mobile Payment app.

    That said, if I were to use another mobile payment service then Samsung Pay would be the way to go as it is the only service that works everywhere, even on old payment terminals that lack chip/pin, and I won’t be left wondering whether or not I can use it.

    • ciderrules

      If your bank doesn’t support Samsung Pay then you won’t be using it anywhere, regardless of what terminal they have. Besides, MST is a dead-end technology that becomes less relevant each passing day. If they introduced it 5 years earlier it would have been a big deal, now it’s pretty much irrelevant in most of the world.

    • Sure, MST is not as relevant as it was before due to the increased conversion to contactless payments but try using Android / Apple Pay at places like Walmart that refuse to support contactless payments. Android and Apple Pay will fail there but Samsung Pay will have no issues thanks to MST. There are also small shops that can’t afford the costs associated with upgrading their payment terminals to ones that support contactless payments. Once again, Android and Apple Pay will fail there.

    • thereasoner

      Not at all irrelevant really. When huge retailers like Walmart don’t accept Apple and Android Pay it matters. The point that you’re missing is that you’re ALWAYS assured of Samsung Pay working, not so much with Android​/Apple Pay, especially when you’re south of the border.

      That’s a big deal considering that places like Walmart are so popular and the vast majority of Canadians live so close to the border. Heck, even in Canada where modern payment terminals have been around forever we still only have about 66% of them able to accept Apple/Android Pay vs 100% everywhere for the Samsung alternative.

    • ciderrules

      Yet you still don’t have it available at the major banks in Canada. So where it will work is just speculation.

      “The point that you’re missing is that you’re ALWAYS assured of Samsung Pay working”

      Not too familiar with Samsung Pay, are you? There have been reports of many different payment terminals in the US where Samsung Pay doesn’t work even though they have a mag stripe reader. Samsung has even issued a statement that some terminals may not work until they are updated. So you need your bank to update their software AND some terminal manufacturers. Hardly as universal as you claim it is.

      So basically that 100% figure you claim that accept Samsung Pay is false. Where did you pull that from? And I also doubt that 66% figure (unless it’s some hick town in the prairies). Over 90% of my transactions are Apple Pay. I have to think hard to try and remember 5 stores I visit that DON’T have tap & pay.

    • thereasoner

      I know, only CIBC has limited support currently​ for Samsung Pay but I was talking in general when all the various mobile payment services are fully implemented. Samsung Pay is the best because it is/will be the most widely accepted. Now that Android Pay is supported by 3 or the 5 major banks I don’t see all banks supporting both being that far off, especially considering the backlash faced by TD etc for not supporting Android Pay.

      Even Apple Pay doesn’t work with some modern terminals so its no surprise if Samsung Pay comes across that as well but that is the exception not the norm. For Apple/Android Pay it’s far more common to not be accepted and Samsung Pay is still far more widely accepted in the US than Apple/Android Pay.

      The percentage for modern contactless payment terminals in Canada came from a story several months ago, when I get home I’ll try and find it or a more recent tabulation. In the meantime you can look it up yourself, there are still a ton of old terminals in place and if memory serves even among “major retailers” only 80% have contactless payment terminals, far less than that amoung independent/small or Mom and Pop locations hence a figure somewhere in the mid 60’s over all.

  • smallmj

    I installed it on my phone, but I don’t see myself actually using it. What is the advantage? To tap with my credit card I:

    Reach in to my left pocket, pull out my wallet, open my wallet, take out my card and tap.

    To tap with my phone I would:

    Reach in to my right pocket, pull out my phone case, open my phone card, take out my phone, type in my pin, and tap.

    The extra step of entering a pin makes it take longer than just using the card. I always have my wallet with me. Always. I suppose if I had a fingerprint reader it would be about equal, but I still don’t see an advantage to tapping with my phone.

    • ciderrules

      Why do you need to type your PIN on your phone? You just tap it the same as your card.

      The advantage is security. The merchant doesn’t see your actual card number, which means it can’t be stolen or used for tracking purposes.

    • KrispyInTO

      You don’t have to unlock the phone.

    • gremlin0007

      Which is a pretty big security issue no?

    • Dustin Hudyma

      It’s no less secure than the chip in your card.

    • gremlin0007

      Agreed, but people are more prone to leaving their phones lying around than their wallets…

    • It’s Me

      Reach in to my right pocket, pull out my phone, and tap.

      Fixed it for you.

    • I don’t even bother opening my wallet (or taking the card out) – I just tap my wallet. It’s either going to catch my debit card or my bus pass (I have yet to pay for groceries with my bus pass – or pay for bus trip with my debit card so I suspect the NFC’s sufficiently different).

      I would use Android Pay if my bank was supported. I previously used the RBC wallet and have no complaints. If I was in line at Tim’s or McD I often had my phone in my hand already. Otherwise it was simpler to take use my wallet method.

    • cellophane

      With how smartphone usage is adapting, especially by the younger generation, your phone is already out and in your hand. You don’t need to carry your wallet.

      So it’s simple. Use fingerprint to unlock phone, and tap. No reaching, no opening, no anything. Just tap.

    • Acitta

      With me there is the added steps of turning on NFC, since I normally keep it off to save battery life, then find my bank app in the app drawer, navigate in the app to the proper page, select which card and then tap. Easier to just take my card out of my wallet. I don’t know if Android Pay is any easier, but my bank is one of the ones not supported.

    • Jamie Veaudry

      I just double-click the side button on my Apple Watch and tap – done.

  • David Baril

    I’ve been using the TD mobile pay app for a couple of years with reasonable success. Not all Tap & Pay terminals accept it. I still try it more often than not just because I’m a bit of a nerd and I get a kick out of wowing the cashier (most still react like they don’t see it that often.) At this point I don’t see any point in Android Pay – why introduce third (or fourth?) party to the transaction? How about a mobile pay solution that makes payment directly from Bitcoin wallet to local currency at wholesale market rate with a 0.1 % transaction fee?

    • sgtpepper & walrus

      Well if Apple offered Apple Pay for Android, it would help achieve a single solution. But you know Apple and their proprietary take on things. At least Google is working on bringing Android Pay to iOS. The reason to bring this payment app to Android is pretty self explanatory – there is a huge base of Android users and they want a similar mobile payment solution. I see Apple Pay and Android Pay as being the biggest contenders and dwarfing Samsung Pay at some point. What a joke, to think this Samsung company is trying to dominate in so many technologies and even tries to take on mobile payments too. Too much bloat and more bloat, and new device iterations on a yearly basis makes me less interested in their phones no matter how good they are.

    • It’s Me

      Apple can’t bring Apple Pay to Android, at least not Apple Pay as Apple Pay actually exists today. It depends on hardware security elements that do not exist on most other phones.

    • I think this is why the two big banks don’t want in. Since Apple pay requires some bio metrics, it makes it a bit more secure than just have 4.4 and NFC. What people don’t realize is that credit isn’t really our money and anything tapped or chip and pin is an immediate loss for the bank if you report it within the legal period of time.

      Apple is a safer bet in terms of hardware compared to Android Pay. I think that might be the only thing holding them back.

    • Brian G.

      Actually they turned off the requirement to have biometrics with Android Pay here because of Visa and Interac’s 100% fraud protection with tap. It’s still required in the U.S.. Based on what Google said about bank workflows, I bet TD and RBC are taking the time to use Google’s recently released functionality to build Pay into their banking apps.

    • Lol even worse. The “100% protection” means the banks eat the loss. Visa also doesn’t give banks the ability to turn tap off for those that don’t trust it. So it’s clear why the big banks don’t want it, they could lose a lot of money

    • Brian G.

      It’s the cost of doing business in trying to get people to go digital so they can save on HR costs. The risk is the same as tap with cards.

    • Android pay has nothing to do with HR and the money saved in hiring less lower level staff goes right back into IT and engineering and R&D.

      That aside, android pay isn’t safe enough for them to consider and the other banks took it because they just want to attract new customers

    • Brian G.


    • thereasoner

      “The risk is the same as tap with cards.”
      Umm…what part of that is so hard to understand?

      If banks like TD are resisting Android Pay for any specific reason it’s​ because of this, as quoted from the article;
      “The banks have been tracking their spending on credit cards for many years without the consumer seeing any detrimental impact,” said Smythe.”

      Android Pay takes this away from the banks as transaction details are anonymous in Google’s mobile payment system, banks will only know the amount charged to a card, that’s it.

    • Likely the same with Apple Pay. The difference is that if you don’t lock your phone and someone takes it and uses android pay that is a 100% loss for you or the bank. Legally the bank has to charge back fraudulent charges. Apple Pay hides payments behind bio metric. Android pay just needs NFC and 4.4.

      In the future of it changes, they will accept it in a heart beat but until then it is too risky.

    • thereasoner

      Again, if someone takes your card and uses it to tap and pay it’s also the banks loss. At least with the phone you can use a pin so it’s actually better than someone taking your card.

    • “If” it has a pin. When you lose your card, you report it and it stops working or the bank notices and calls you after putting a hold. There is no fraud department for android pay. until there is an other layer of guaranteed sercurity like Apple Pay, it won’t fly with the larger banks. Too much to lose

    • thereasoner

      This is ridiculous, who doesn’t lock their phone? Really? and even if you can find someone who doesn’t you can still remotely wipe your device or call the carrier to disable it just as fast as you can call the bank.

    • Sure, you’re right. With logic like that it is clearly the Banks that have it wrong.

    • thereasoner

      Pin or pattern is required, I just edited my last post and provided a source. You must lock your device for Android Pay to work.

      As I said, these banks have their own investment in their own Mobile App and Android Pay makes purchase details anonymous so if there is any reason they won’t support Android Pay that’s it, NOT security as it’s obviously more secure than tap and pay with your card!

    • I would love to see that because on the official website it says to make sure your phone is “unlocked” and then you can do it seamlessly. Unless there is an option to require a passcode, I don’t see that on their advert for it. Unless Google themselves doesn’t know their own service.

    • thereasoner

      Yes, you have to “unlock” first, be it fingerprint, pattern or pin. The Android Pay app requires the same but you can select a setting that allows for seamless use so long as the device has been unlocked first.

      Either way some form of unlocking security must be present to use Android Pay, twice even if you don’t allow the service to work automatically once unlocked.

    • Gregg Lowden

      Google pay beats any banks proprietary systems by a km or two. Not beholden to TD’s application and its exclusive lock to their Visa Credit Card only. Being able to link an Interac Debit Card, or anyone else’s credit card to pay via NFC is a win for more consumers, retailers. TD and RBC will field complaints until they realize the epic fail their systems have been or loose to banks like BMO.

    • David Baril

      Thanks Gregg, Good points. I will definitely check it out. I just assumed it would go back to my VISA anyway.

  • sgtpepper & walrus

    I would primarily use it for debit payments, because that form or payment is what I use most often. I’ve never used similar services for a debit card, so I wonder how it will work. If it’s easier in that you don’t have to select chequing/savings account or enter a pin, that would be quite convenient. Does anyone know?

    • Brian G.

      It is that easy. You just wake up your phone and tap it to the terminal and it takes it from your chequing account.

    • sgtpepper & walrus

      Thanks, that sounds awesome. Definitely would save time.

  • cellophane

    Since I have a Samsung, I will stick with Samsung Pay. I never use debit, and my credit card is supported, so I have no use for Android Pay.

    • Vito R.

      My main credit card isn’t supported in Samsung Pay so I’m more than happy to have Android Pay. Also, Samsung Pay doesn’t work with my Canadian credit cards because the S7 I bought is from the UAE and apparently it input supports UAE banks.

      Samsung doesn’t get it. Google does.

  • If anyone has a BlackBerry KEYone and successfully used Android Pay, let me know. I can get it set up fine, but it keeps getting rejected at the credit/debit machine.

  • elevtechlift

    Waiting for TransLink (Vancouver) to integrate Compass Card platform to Android Pay. This include an option to top up card with stored value and passes via Android Pay (credit and debit) and store linked and virtual Compass cards into Android Pay.

    • Daniel Szilagyi

      I actually made a design for a supposed compass card app to use NFC and tweeted Translink, they aren’t interested in people not ditching the card.

  • Uberman X

    What does Android Pay means for mobile payments in Canada? Nothing as not one of my cards is accepted by the app. Costco MC, Scotiabank Interac, Scotiabank Visa Debit, RBC Visa, Amazon/Chase .. nothing …

    Are the banks THAT bitter about Interac dominating debit that they are doing their best to push their solutions? Samsung Pay and now Android Pay have been a complete disaster and unusable for me so far.

    I whip out my Interac Flash card and it works … unlike my phone.

    • EChid

      Just because they don’t work for you, doesn’t mean they don’t work for everyone and haven’t had an effect. If banks see people making decisions based on support of Android Pay, they’ll get onboard quickly.

    • Mawhayden

      Works no problem via ApplePay iPhone 7+

  • kingsclear

    I’m a RBC customer. I’m upset not only at RBC not backing Android Pay but also not having either MasterCard or Visa to double back their debit cards so they would be able to be used virtually anywhere in USA.

    The issue is that the USA is way behind in adoption of chip cards. The only way I can use my debit card at most US retailers is to open a US RBC Bank account with auto transfers from my Canadian account. The American subsidiary has Visa backed debit cards. However, it has yet to sign on to Android Pay just like the Canadian parent.

    My only other solution is to switch to CIBC, TD, or ScotiaBank as they all have Visa and Interac backed debit cards. CIBC and ScotiaBank have also signed onto Android Pay. However I just saw an ad telling me that TD wants Canadian customers who are Snowbirds to open up accounts on their US subsidiary as well. I’m just a bit confused.

    All in all, I just a big mess.

  • JPTor

    I have 4 credit cards registered and it works flawlessly. I dont think i can use any of my bank apps anymore for mobile payments, fast and convenient

  • Dennis D.

    Has anyone been able to add the Scotiabank Momentum Mastercard (was transferred to this from the old Sears mastercard)? This one gives me an error while my other scotia CCs work.

    • Olivier Doyon-Karout

      I have the exact same problem

    • Dennis D.

      So it turns out that under their list of supported or unsupported cards, the Scotiabank mastercards aren’t supported yet.

  • C.L. E.

    I have an S7 Edge so give me Samsung pay or Android Pay but just let me add my damn Costco MasterCard, it’s the only card I use and it obviously doesn’t work with the RBC wallet LoL

    • KiwiBri

      Been using CIBC with Samsung pay. Its pretty good and works really well.

    • C.L. E.

      Yeah I have nothing CIBC so it’s useless to me now but I am looking forward to it.

  • Husayn Mithaiwala

    Capital One, Rogers, Tangerine Mastercards cannot be added. They need to look into non bank cards for on boarding.

  • mjh49783ab

    Android Pay works with my PC Financial Mastercard, and with my CIBC Interac card just fine. Rogers Bank Mastercard? Nope. Can’t add that one, yet.