Apple Pay Coming to Canada as Soon as March

10 January 2015AppleFinance

Jordan Kahn, reporting for 9to5Mac:

Apple is preparing to expand its new Apple Pay payments service internationally with at least the Canadian launch currently scheduled for early 2015, according to sources close to the situation.

Sources say partners are currently in negotiations with Apple regarding the launch scheduled to come sometime in the first half of this year. Apple and Canadian launch partners are in the process of planning advertising and other promotional material for March, which indicates that the launch could come as soon as then. Of course, these are still active discussions and it’s possible the talks could fail to result in a launch by March. Several sources, however, tell us Apple is currently targeting that timeframe.

Given the high prevalence of NFC-equipped point of sale machines in Canadian retail stores, it certainly makes sense to launch Apple Pay in Canada. On the other hand, unlike the fragmented U.S. financial services industry, Canadian credit cards are issued by a very small group of very large banks, which I’m guessing has made for more difficult negotiations. It will be interesting to see if the Canadian version of Apple Pay launches in the form of an exclusive partnership with a single bank or as a broad initiative with all banks. My bet would be all banks.