What Is Apple Pay And Which Banks Support It?

What Is Apple Pay And Which Banks Support It?

Written by Veronica Ott
Fact-checked by Caitlin Wood
Last Updated April 6, 2022

You might have come across the term Apple Pay, but what exactly is it? Apple Pay is a form of payment designed by Apple for its mobile device users. The convenience, ease of use and secureness of Apple Pay has made it a popular payment choice among many Canadians. To learn more about Apple Pay, how it works, where you can use it in Canada, and the pros and cons, continue reading below. 

What Is Apple Pay?

Apple Pay is a payment method available on any Apple mobile devices through the Wallet app. Apple Pay is an alternative to using debit and credit card tap functions, it uses your mobile device instead.

Prefer credit cards? Here are some of the most prestigious credit cards in the world.

Where And How Can You Use Apple Pay In Canada?

Apple Pay has become an extremely versatile form of payment in Canada. You can use Apple Pay to make purchases in the following ways:

  • In-store (thousands of retailers have introduced Apple Pay)
  • In apps
  • Online through Safari
  • Through iMessage

How Does Apple Pay Work? 

Apple Pay uses Near Field Communication (NFC) technology, iOS 11, and the Wallet app to complete payments. The function also requires that the card issuer is supported by Apple Pay. When you add a card to the Wallet app, Apple reaches out to the card issuer and requests a digital payment card number that is specific to you and your device. Once the card is added to your Wallet, you can begin to make payments. 

Every time you use Apple Pay in-store, you will need to enter your passcode or use Touch ID for security purposes, then you bring your phone close to the tap machine to complete payment. If you’re using Apple Pay on an app, online or through iMessage, the total amount to process will appear and you can select the card you’d like to complete the purchase with all within your phone screen. More than one card can be added to the Wallet app, but there will be a default card that will always automatically pop up when you want to pay for something. 

What Is Apple Pay Cash?

Using Apple Pay through iMessage allows you to pay someone using your debit or credit card. When that person deposits the money you sent through iMessage, it goes into something called Apple Pay Cash. The balance in Apple Pay Cash can be used to make purchases, send money to someone through iMessage or deposited to your bank account. Essentially, Apple Pay Cash is sort of like a prepaid credit card in your Wallet app. 

Which Banks Offer Apple Pay In Canada?

Apple Pay is offered by many banks in Canada meaning that not many will be left out. In Canada, the following banks offer Apple Pay (in alphabetical order):

  • 1st Choice Savings
  • Access Credit Union
  • Affinity Credit Union
  • American Express
  • Assiniboine Credit Union
  • ATB
  • Bank of America Merrill Lynch – Commercial Cards
  • Bank of Montreal (Interac debit cards, Mastercard credit cards)
  • Brim Financial Inc.
  • Cambrian Credit Union Limited
  • Canadian Tire (Mastercard credit cards)
  • Chinook Financial
  • CIBC (Interac debit cards, Mastercard and Visa credit cards)
  • Coast Capital Savings Credit Union
  • Collabria Financial Services, Inc
  • Conexus Credit Union
  • Copperfin Credit Union
  • Cornerstone Credit Union
  • Desjardins
  • Envision Financial, a division of First West Credit Union
  • First Calgary Financial
  • HSBC (Mastercard credit cards)
  • Innovation Credit Union
  • Island Savings, a division of First West Credit Union
  • Kingston Community Credit Union
  • Luseland Credit Union Limited
  • Macklin Credit Union
  • MBNA
  • Mountain View Financial
  • National Bank of Canada
  • PenFinancial Credit Union
  • President’s Choice (Mastercard credit cards)
  • Prospera Credit Union
  • RBC – Royal Bank of Canada (Interac debit cards, Mastercard and Visa credit cards)
  • Scotiabank (American Express credit cards, Interac debit cards, Visa credit and prepaid cards)
  • Servus Credit Union
  • Steinbach Credit Union
  • Synergy Credit Union
  • Tandia Financial Credit Union
  • Tangerine
  • TD (Interac debit cards, Visa credit cards)
  • Unity Credit Union
  • Valley First – Enderby, a division of First West Credit Union
  • Vancity

Benefits Of Using Apple Pay

Apple Pay has become quite popular ever since Apple introduced it and there are some clear reasons as to why. Below are the benefits of using Apple Pay. 

  • No Need for an Actual Wallet. With your Wallet on your phone, there’s no need to carry around a real wallet.
  • User-Friendly. Apple Pay is very easy to use, making it a simple form of payment. 
  • Free. Given that you already have an Apple device, using Apple Pay is completely free. In addition, the internet is not needed to complete purchases so you won’t rack up data. 
  • Less Theft. Even if someone stole your phone, they would need to know your passcode or have your touch ID to use your Wallet. Cards and cash can easily be stolen and used to make fraudulent purchases. 

Stay safe by learning how to avoid debit card fraud.

Drawbacks Of Using Apple Pay

Unfortunately, nothing in this world has only benefits and no drawbacks, even though we’d want it to be that way at times. Let’s explore the drawbacks of Apple Pay below. 

  • Encourages More Spending. Apple Pay makes paying for goods and services easier than ever. In some ways this is fantastic, but it can encourage more spending when compared to those who opt for cold hard cash or card.
  • Not International Yet. Apple Pay is widely accepted in Canada and the USA, but not in other parts of the world yet. Unfortunately, if you’re travelling abroad, you might not be able to rely on Apple Pay. 
  • Can Be Hazardous to Rely On. In the event that your phone dies or a vendor doesn’t accept Apple Pay, you might be in a sticky situation without your real wallet. 

Find out if you’re addicted to your credit card

Is Apple Pay Safe? 

Yes, Apple Pay is safe. Apple has designed tactics to securely store your card information to prevent hackers from accessing it. In addition, Apple has stated that they do not store your transaction and card information on their servers. They’re also working with banks to ensure that your financial information stays confidential. 

Final Thoughts

Apple Pay is a convenient, easy to use and secure form of payment used by many Canadians. To accommodate for the drawbacks, many Canadians use Apple Pay in conjunction with other forms of payment. Setting it up on your phone only takes a few minutes and can help you avoid real wallet hassles.

Rating of 5/5 based on 2 votes.

Veronica is a writer who specializes in creating unique and educational personal finance content. She has extensive experience writing blog posts for companies in the financial sector. Veronica's background is in accounting as she graduated from Western University in 2017 with a degree in accounting. She is passionate about using her accounting expertise to help others with their personal finance questions and issues and enjoys using her writing to educate Canadian readers. When Veronica is not writing, she enjoys film, reading, travelling, going to the gym, and listening to music.

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