MADISON, Wis. (11/19/15)--Apple Pay this week launched in Canada--but only for holders of American Express cards.
Starting Tuesday, Canadian users of Apple Watch and iPhone 6 models or higher will be able to make purchases by tapping their devices on merchant terminals equipped with near field communication (NFC) technology and AMEX’s contactless payments system.
Apple did not disclose how many retailers would accept Apple Pay; however it did indicate that businesses such as Tim Hortons, Indigo, McDonald’s, Petro Canada and Staples were equipped.
Apple said the company is starting with American Express in Canada and Australia because it's both the card issuer and the payment-network operator, so coordination is easier. With Visa and MasterCard, individual financial institutions issue the cards, and each financial institution has its own way of verifying a customer's identity when setting up Apple Pay (cbcnews Nov. 17).
Apple recently announced it topped 650 issuing financial institutions in the U.S. Nearly half of the latest financial institutions to support Apple Pay are credit unions. (News Now Nov. 5).