Apple Pay coming to Canada this year with American Express partnership

Apple's mobile wallet, Apple Pay, will become available in Canada later this year — but only to those who have American Express cards.

Mobile wallet for iPhones launched in U.S. in October 2014

Apple Pay lets you pay at the checkout with a stored credit card by holding your iPhone or Apple Watch close to a reader while your finger is on the fingerprint reader. (Eric Risberg/Associated Press)

Apple's mobile wallet, Apple Pay, will become available to some Canadians later this year.

The feature lets you pay at the checkout with a stored credit card by holding your iPhone or Apple Watch close to a reader while your finger is on the fingerprint reader.

American Express announced yesterday that later this year, the feature will be available to American Express cardholders in Canada and Australia at stores where:

  • American Express cards are accepted.
  • You can already pay by tapping your credit card.

It will be expanded to cardholders in Spain, Singapore and Hong Kong in 2016.

In Canada, terminals that allow customers to simply tap to pay with a credit card or a phone-connected mobile wallet are already widely available.

Despite that, Canadians have been very slow to warm up to the idea of paying with their smartphones, says Penelope Graham, editor of Ratesupermarket.ca, a website that compares rates for credit cards, mortgages, GICs and other personal finance offers.

"I think that the introduction of Apple Pay may actually be the kick in the pants that Canadians need to actually embrace mobile payments," said Graham, who thinks Apple Pay's arrival here is "very exciting."

Apple Pay launched in the U.S. in October 2014, and as of September, was used by 14 per cent of U.S. households, according to a report from Phoenix Marketing International.

In the U.S., users can link most major credit and debit cards from top U.S. banks to make purchases.

However, as of June, two-thirds of the top 100 U.S. retailers told the Reuters news service that they didn't plan to accept Apple Pay this year.

This September, Google started rolling out a similar mobile wallet for Android phones called Android Pay in the U.S. 

With files from Meegan Read

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