Apple Pay launches in Canada, adds more UK banks. Australia to launch this week

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By Larry Banks

Apple Pay has now officially launched in Canada, as well as adding two more banks in the UK. The mobile wallet and payments service will launch in Australia on Thursday.

Apple Pay launches in Canada

Apple Pay is currently limited to American Express cards in Canada however, and excludes branded American Express cards available from banks such as Scotiabank. Transactions can be made at any of the retail outlets that support AmEx’s wireless payment system including chains like Tim Hortons, Indigo, Staples, Petro Canada, and McDonald’s.

In addition, online payments can be made in apps – such as Uber, Groupon, Starbucks, Domino’s and Priceline. The UK (which saw an Apple Pay launch in July this year) added cards from TSB and Tesco Bank. Barclays is however still holding out but has said it will be added “next year”.

Apple shared the Australian launch date with the Financial Post, but did not expand on the details such as the list of supporting merchants. American Express will also be the initial local card issuer. The service will eventually expand to other banks and cards besides AmEx in Canada and Australia, as the majority of people in those countries use Visa or MasterCard.

Apple is reportedly aiming to launch Apple Pay in Hong Kong, Singapore and Spain during 2016. Apple has succeeded to an extent in terms of bringing financial institutions onboard with the service, but support by retailers and merchants has been somewhat slow. Canada and Europe are generally said to be better equipped for wireless payments than in the US, which has only just recently launched chip-and-PIN (available in other countries for more than a decade).

SOURCE: Apple Insider.

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