Fragmentation, lack of interest to blame for poor mobile payments adoption in Canada: Ipsos


  • thereasoner

    I have my banks mobile payment service set up but only as a backup. I simply don’t see any need to add a 3rd party service to my transactions if I don’t have to.

  • JC

    I love using the apple pay.. easy fast and convenient. I think the bigger problem is that it isn’t available everywhere and most places have a hundred dollar limit.

    • It’s Me

      Yeah, I use it for the frequent common purchases like gas or coffee or meals, no need to put away the phone and pull out the wallet and then the card. Just tap and go.

      I was in Japan earlier this month and the integration with Suica is slick. One of the people we traveled with visits frequently so he had a Japan purchase iPhone 7 to use it with. Works just like with credit or debit cards except it doesn’t need Touch ID when paying for the trains because it needs to be instant. And with the ubiquitous Japanese vending machines it was handy for getting drinks. Also means you can use your credit or debit card to charge up the Suica which is convenient since the physical cards require cash reloads. It’s part of the reason iPhones are so dominant there.

      We don’t have a single card system that is as commonly used here as Suica so that might slow our adoption as well. TTC and other major transit systems should seriously consider FeliCa systems.

  • LarryD

    I only use Android Pay because it supports my BMO debit card. Credit cards are with RBC so no go as you have to keep switching default payment systems all the time to use the phone to pay. Like the fact that Samsung Pay has been saying coming soon for a year now, lol.

    No wonder the polls say that adoption is low in Canada…

    • gremlin0007

      with android pay, if you long press the app icon, you can select your payment card easily from there. I find it’s the fastest way to pick the card you want to pay with.

    • h2oflyer

      I started using Android Pay with my BMO debit card and find it handy for small pocket change purchases like coffee. Never did like dirty coins.

  • Elky64

    Hard to be interested when things are so fragmented (some support others do not), seems anything of this nature takes eons to materialize in Canada. After a while one just ignores it as any hype is short lived – “time” being the enemy.

  • Jonathan

    I think the $100 limit is a slap in their own face, if Apple/Banks are not comfortable with people spending more on Mobile Payment, what does this say to the general people’s view of security of Mobile Payment?

    In fact, a big chunk of cash-only places are in fact places where you’d only spend <$100 so that severely limits the use case too….

    One could also argue that in a very generic sense, Android users are on average a bit more tech savvy than Apple Users (due to the fact they will go out of their way to customize their phones) Android Pay is one year behind Apple Pay AND 2 out of the BIG FIVE are not supporting Android Pay is also hindering the movement of mobile payments.

    I'd really like to use mobile payments, but I run Android and have all my banking with RBC…so there's that. Also, the fact that I'm Asian and most Asisan places doesn't even take cards would've really limit my use cases even if RBC does support Android Pay

    • It’s Me

      Yeah they $100 is strange but it’s at least partially being imposed by the retailers. When Apple Pay first launched in Canada with Amex, one of the things Amex was clear on was that the payment limit would be no different than the card itself. I can’t honestly remember if I successfully made purchases over $100 at the time but I do recall that when I went to pay for something at staples over $200 the clerk warned me it wouldn’t work. When I said Amex allows my card limit, she explained it didn’t matter because staples imposed a $100 tap limit and it included mobile. And it did block me.

    • ToniCipriani ✓pǝᴉɟᴉɹǝʌ

      100% imposed by merchants. Best Buy is the same situation, friend tried to use Apple Pay and it didn’t work, but buying just one item works just fine.

      And AFAIK you can’t separate mobile and plastic card tap at the terminal, both are considered NFC, with mobile being more secure since they tokenize the number.

    • Andrew Holt

      That whole blurb at the end about Asian places not taking cards leads me to believe they are doing something underhanded and illegal. ie. tax evasion.

    • It’s Me

      Or they don’t want to pay the surcharges because they like to reduce costs.

      Bigot much Andrew?

    • Brenda

      A lot of people don’t realise that merchants pay for every credit and debit card transaction. I try to always use my debit card because it costs merchants less. I wish more online sites would take debit cards so I wouldn’t need to use PayPal or credit cards. And I’d like to know if ApplePay is costing them any extra.

    • Brenda

      And not just Asian places do this. I quit going to a popular Italian restaurant because they won’t take anything but cash and I don’t carry cash anymore. As more of us stop using cash, businesses will have to adjust.
      But there’s a downside to this – a loss of privacy. I’m sure there’s a data bank out there that stores info on everything I bought yesterday. It knows where I live, where I travel, where I shop, what I eat, what movies and series I like, and, probably, the name of my dog.

    • It’s Me

      thereasoner was mentioning once that google spent years and assume vast amounts of money creating a tracking identifier for each user. It was described as tracking you so intimately that they’d be able to tell that you used your android device and saw an ad and then later walked into a store and bought the item they showed you. Or eventually you’d drive past a digital billboard and see an ad, just for you, for an item you searched for using google the other day.

      So you are absolutely correct, such a vast data mining and tracking system already exists. The more google services you use they better the fidelity with which they can know you. Where you live, what you watch, when you’re home, who you come home with, when you sleep, where you sleep, what you eat, what your interests are, the route you take to work, etc, etc. Brave new world.

      But don’t worry. thereasoner said it’s not private data since you choose to use their services and share your data with them. And he also mentioned that google can’t identify you with their uber-tracking identifier.

  • Zaptor99

    I have credit cards from Capital one, MBNA, and Tangerine. I can’t use Android Pay nor Samsung pay. Very frustrating.

  • Bill___A

    Well, the Calgary Co-op seems to get troubles with Apple Pay but not tap when the very same physical credit card is tapped – so there’s something in their setup that doesn’t work. After many hundreds (if not a couple of thousand) Apple Pay transactions and pretty much no problems except Calgary Co-op stores, I’d say they have a problem. Getting tech support on such a thing is a lost cause, sadly. Technically oriented people can help a lot in solving a problem, but only if someone is willing to listen. Also, Capital one doesn’t participate in Apple Pay, but sometimes when you tap their card it prompts for a signature (on a $20 purchase!), Not wanting to have a signature on file, I won’t be using Capital One tap to pay again. These things are not noted on the survey results but are an issue nonetheless.

  • Frank King

    I use Android Pay every day for almost everything below 100$. Most cashiers are still amazed to see me doing that, tho. Some even warn me that it won’t work.., yet I always pull it off.

  • SV650

    One big convenience of the card is that it ALWAYS works. If the dollar value is below $100 it will TAP, if above it is really easy to insert the card and add PIN. Since I don’t tally my groceries before arriving at the till, the bill could be either side of $100.

    Where I do find if convenient is subsequent to using an affinity card stored on my phone, as it is easier just to continue to use the phone to make payment. About the only place I use my Watch is at the liquid store, as affinity cards are not accepted. The barcode presented for affinity cards on the Watch is too small for most scanners.

    Then factor in that some places are more awkward – I have yet to get a Canadian Tire purchase to complete in a single TAP, always need to go through the process twice 🙁 and as mentioned earlier, some merchants don’t offer TAP, as either their reader does not offer it, or their merchant agreement charges them more for TAP purchases than PIN purchases. (You didn’t’ think TAP was free did you?)

    For the most part in Canada, my experience suggests Mobile payments do not offer sufficient convenience over simply using the card itself to gain a huge amount of traction.

  • Pat

    I want to use android pay on my OnePlus 5, but I’m with RBC, and it only works with their own app which sucks.

  • ToniCipriani ✓pǝᴉɟᴉɹǝʌ

    I want to use Android Pay more, but before I got my latest card specifically for it, NONE of my cards support it. Capital One doesn’t support it, MBNA (owned by TD) is giving them the middle finger, Tangerine is perpetually “coming soon”, and JPM Chase is basically preparing to leave Canada, selling all stuff to Scotiabank.

    There’s a wider issue of lack of competition in the financial sector. Either it’s owned by the Big 5 or are very small players.

    • dsp4

      We’re like credit brothers. I have cards with exactly the same banks and ended up signing for BMOs Mastercard just for mobile payments. Hopefully by the time their 4% cashback promotion ends, one of the others will have adopted Android Pay. Banks are notoriously conservative though, so I’m not holding my breath. In a perfect world, I’d like to see Rogers add Pay to their Platinum card. That would make four of my current cards redundant.

  • Daniel Giddings

    No interest here. Why would I pull my phone out of my pocket rather than a tiny debit card.

    • It’s Me

      Because your phone doesn’t also have to be removed from and returned to a wallet and you aren’t usually playing with your wallet in line.

    • ciderrules

      Because your phone is actually more secure than your card. By a significant amount.

    • Scott

      But in all honesty security doesn’t matter because the banks cover any fraudulent transactions anyway. What matters to everyone is the speed of the overall transaction. Reaching for my wallet, choosing the right card, tapping (or insert + pin) is a wrote physical act at this point and faster for the average person than reaching for my phone, unlocking (if required), finding the app, logging in, tapping, etc, etc.

      Your security concerns are valid but the average person doesn’t care. Especially in light of the fact that banks aren’t the biggest security hole at this point, it’s rewards systems that aren’t secured.

    • Hemingway Wu

      With Apple Pay and Android Pay you don’t need to open the app and log in. Just unlock the phone and tap. That is why these solutions are better the bank apps

  • I already have all of my loyalty/points cards on the Stocard app, so it’s pretty convenient for me to pay with my phone, too. Don’t have to take out my wallet for any part of the transaction. Both my debit and credit cards are with RBC, so I’m stuck using their app. On the plus side, it’s never failed me, but OTOH, I’d dearly prefer to just use Android Pay instead, since it’s supposed to be universal.

    Curse you, RBC!!!

  • Brenda

    With ApplePay you don’t need a wallet, just a case that holds a few essential cards like your drivers license and one piece of plastic for back up where ApplePay doesn’t work. Fairly secure too because you don’t type in a PIN and as long as you keep the phone in a zippered pocket, preferably on the inside of your coat or jacket. Probably why there’s a resurgence of “fanny packs” though I can’t fathom paying over $500 for the designer models. Maybe for the types who need a Hermes watchband for their Apple Watch?

  • ciderrules

    The reason is simple – people are unaware of the security benefits of using your phone over your card. Mobile payments all use tokenization which means your real card number is never used. So it can’t be skimmed, tracked or otherwise abused in any way.

    Physical cards and phones are both easy to use and there’s little difference in convenience using one over the other. But there’s a significant security advantage to using your phone over your card.

    Apple (for example) always advertises the convenience of Apple Pay but doesn’t promote the security side. And I think the reason is they’re not allowed to. It wouldn’t look good for Apple to be telling you your actual card is “less safe” than using your phone. It makes the banks and credit card companies look inferior in terms of security (which they actually are, but you can’t criticize the very companies who are allowing you access to their cards).

    • bigshynepo

      The reason is simpler than that – The two biggest Banks in Canada require you to use their own proprietary payment method instead of adopting Android and Apple pay. If RBC and TD would adopt the mainstream options, mobile payments would take off tomorrow.

    • Jason Monk

      Both of those banks support Apple Pay. The security concern is by far a bigger issue. I’ve talked to numerous people who don’t understand how it works and just assume that it is not in their best interest.

    • Cam McArthur

      they support apple pay, because apple restricts everything. NFC is restricted on iPhones, So rather than force their app on iOS (because they cant), they just sign up for apple pay. Samsung pay is more secure than Apple and Android pay, but lets see how long that will take

    • ciderrules


      Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Android Pay all use the same tokenization system, invented by EMVco. I’d LOVE to hear your technical explanation why one version is somehow more secure than another when they’re the same system. Especially when, by your own admission, Apple places restrictions on NFC (which should actually make it more secure because it’s locked down).

      Secondly, banks support Apple Pay because that’s where the money is being spent. iOS has 5x the revenues of Android when it comes to things like mobile online shopping/purchases. Banks go where the money is (just like App developers), and right now that’s on iOS.

  • Hemingway Wu

    the $100 limit means you still have to carry your cards with you, then why not just use the cards

    • dsp4

      The $100 limit only means that you need to approve the transaction with your fingerprint or PIN, not that you can’t use mobile payments for big purchases.