Android Pay Finally Makes it to Canada

It took a lot longer than anyone expected, but Canadians can finally get going on Android Pay.  The tap-to-pay service has added the country today, with the support of eight financial institutions.  That list will grow over the summer.  With the addition of Canada, Android Pay is now in 12 countries globally.

Over the next several days, Android Pay is rolling out with support from eligible Visa and MasterCard credit cards from BMO Bank of Montreal, CIBC, Banque Nationale, Scotiabank, Desjardins, President’s Choice Financial, ATB Financial, and Canadian Tire Financial Services in Canada, and prepaid Scotiabank and Desjardins cards. Support for Interac-branded debit cards will begin roll-out on Monday, and support for American Express cards and Tangerine is coming later this summer.

Like other countries, there are already a long list of retailers that can accept payments by touching your NFC compatible phone to a terminal.  These include Tim Hortons, Loblaws, Petro-Canada, McDonald’s, Indigo, Pizza Pizza, Sears Canada.  You can also use it in Telus, Rogers and Freedom Mobile retail locations.

If you are a member at one of the supported financial institutions, all you need to do is download the Android Pay app from the Play Store and associate your credit or debit card with the service.  Then, in a retailer, you can hold your phone above the pay terminal to initiate the transaction.

Two things to remember.  First, Android Pay is very secure.  Your actual card number is not transmitted (a virtual one) and you have to approve the purchase.  It can’t be done by itself accidentally.  Second, the technology in Android Pay and Apple Pay are the same.  Here in the United States, I rarely see Android Pay stickers as a payment option but do see Apple Pay ones everywhere. But, because the technology is the same, it works regardless.