Apple is prepping the launch of its NFC-based mobile payments service in Canada by this fall, marking the beginning of expanding Apple Pay outside of the United States, which has seen a steady growth in the home market despite some distrust shown by local retailers. The Cupertino giant is currently in negotiations with six biggest banks in Canada (Royal Bank of Canada, Toronto-Dominion Bank, Bank of Nova Scotia, Bank of Montreal, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, and National Bank of Canada) about a possible November launch in the country, WSJ reports. These banks account for more than 90 percent of retail bank accounts, also known as the ‘Big Six’.
The report further stated that banks are open to an agreement, but aren’t satisfied with the fees terms and conditions laid down by Apple. In addition, they are expressing concern over security vulnerabilities faced by U.S banks when they initially rolled out the service. At this point, whether the aforementioned six banks launch Apple Pay at the same time is still uncertain because talks are ongoing.
The Apple iPhone accounts for a major chunk of the market share with more than one-third of the total Canadian smartphone market, hence Canada is a very attractive market for Apple Pay, compared to the 20 percent global market share of the iPhones.
Apple Pay was introduced back in October for the US market, which allows owners of the latest iPhones to pay for items in stores. Apple says it accounts for over two-thirds of all contactless transactions. Apple says that the service will soon be rolled out internationally, while experts speculate China and Canada as potential markets for Apple Pay.
However, it seems launching the service in Canada isn’t going to be easy for the Cupertino giant. The ‘big six’ mentioned above have formed a consortium of sorts to address major concerns that might face with Apple’s service. To address this issue, research firm McKinsey & Co has been hired as a consultant that’ll be working to develop new security protocols for use with Apple Pay in Canada.