Apple Pay in Canada: Recent Changes & Role in Combating the Pandemic

Updated: Aug 30, 2022

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Apple Pay has been available to users of most debit and credit cards from nearly all banks in Canada. However, Canadian consumers are now getting more Apple Pay support that couldn’t have arrived at a better time, given the still-unchanging pandemic situation.

Apple Expands Its Apple Pay Support in Canada

Apple launched Apple Pay in Canada in 2015 by partnering with American Express. Since then, Canadian Amex cardholders have been able to make online and in-store payments at participating merchants using the Apple Pay service. In 2016, the tech giant expanded its service to the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) and the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC). Soon afterward, it expanded the service to almost all other Canadian banks. Their users of nearly all credit and debit cards they offer have been able to make payments at a wealth of participating restaurants, grocery stores, hotels, and other locations – both online and in-store.

Now, Apple Pay has partnered with more vendors in Canada, allowing customers to seamlessly provide online payments with just a single click on their iOS devices. They can make transactions on iPhone, iPad, Mac, or Apple Watch within all apps that allow Apple Pay as a payment method. The best part about this service is that you don’t need to use your debit or credit card credentials to make a payment. You can connect your card with a digital wallet and make your transactions from there.

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That ensures a higher level of security, as your card numbers aren’t shared with any merchant, nor are they stored on Apple’s servers or your mobile device.

Which New Apple Pay Options Are Available for Canadian iOS Users?

Every iOS user in Canada who carries an eligible debit or credit card from Apple’s partnering banks in the country can enjoy the following services.

Apple Pay for Canada Post

Canada Post has a mobile app that people can use to track their parcels and pay for them online. Now, the app’s new update for iOS devices comes with Apple Pay support. You can now pay for all your orders shipped by Canada Post using this convenient and secure mobile payment service. You can also save your pickup barcode and add it to your digital wallet, that is, your iPhone Apple Wallet. Furthermore, you can use the added service in the Canada Post mobile app to pay all the necessary taxes and duty on everything you order.

Apple Pay with Curbside Pickup for Subway Canada

If you’re a regular Subway Canada customer, who’s also an iPhone user, you’ve probably tried ordering your favorite meals with Siri. It’s been a year since iPhone users have set up Siri Shortcuts in the Subway app for iOS to leave food ordering to the quirky virtual assistant. Now, Subway Canada has added a few more useful functionalities to its iOS mobile app. One of them is Apple Pay, which allows you to pay for your favorite Subway food and drinks using your digital wallet. You only need to use your existing credentials to pay for your orders without ever entering your card numbers.

The other new feature is the Curbside Pickup option. The option displays in the cart, just before you complete your order. If you choose that option, you can go to the nearest Subway location and pick up your meal yourself. As the company stated in the latest update, you only need to “tell us your car’s make and model, and we’ll bring your food out when you arrive.” It adds a higher level of convenience. Be sure to update your Subway iOS app to enjoy these new features.

AppleCare+ Monthly Payments

AppleCare+ is an excellent type of insurance that you can buy for your iPhone, iPad, iPod, HomePod, AirPods, or Apple Watch devices. Each of them comes with a one-year warranty, which you can extend with this particular insurance. If you purchase AppleCare+, you will get:

  • Screen damage coverage
  • Coverage for up to two accidental damages over 24 months from the purchase date
  • Battery service coverage
  • Express Replacement Service
  • 24/7 priority tech support

Until recently, iOS users in Canada haven’t been able to enjoy the benefits of AppleCare+ monthly plans launched in the US last year. They can now choose the monthly payments option during the checkout process when purchasing eligible iOS devices in the Apple Store. If you choose to pay monthly for your Apple Watch, iPhone, or iPad, you can do so over a period of 24 months. If you’re buying Apple Watch Edition and Hermes, you will be able to provide monthly payments for 36 months.

Of course, you can also pay upfront for the entire coverage, be it 24 or 36 months. If you do that, you can continue providing monthly payments once your initial coverage period ends. Have in mind that if you start with a monthly plan, you must continue paying only monthly if you later decide to extend your coverage. You wouldn’t be able to pay upfront for potential extended coverage. Also, AppleCare+ monthly plans renew automatically; that is until you cancel them. You should also keep in mind that upfront plans are more cost-effective than monthly options. The latter may be more convenient, but the former can help you save more money in the long run.

How Can Apple Pay Help Combat the Pandemic in Canada?

Ever since the pandemic began, all of us started following certain health and safety measures to stay protected and prevent the further spread of the virus. One of those precautions is keeping a healthy distance from other people, especially in usually-crowded places like supermarkets and other retail stores. That led to a tremendous rise in e-commerce, as it’s much safer to shop online and get products delivered to your door than to wait in lines in brick-and-mortar stores.

And that’s where Apple Pay comes in. Here are 2 crucial benefits that this service brings to many iOS users in Canada during the pandemic.

1. Mobile Payments

When you use this mobile payment service, you can pay for all your online purchases, without ever leaving your home. All that’s needed is a simple tap on your iPhone, iPad, Mac, or Apple Watch.

But how is this different from any other mobile payment method?

When setting it up, you need to add your card in the Wallet app by entering its numbers or scanning it, before you finally verify it. However, you don’t need to provide your card details during the checkout process. They remain completely private and safe because you’re paying through your digital wallet.

The service will only use a one-time transaction code for your device’s unique number to process the payment. That means your debit or credit card information doesn’t get shared with merchants, so there’s no room for potential fraud. Another great benefit is that you can add up to 8 different cards to Apple Pay.

2. Contactless Payments

Contactless payments are also gaining a lot of popularity around the planet, for obvious reasons. POS (point-of-sale) terminals are some of the most high-touch surfaces, which people are trying to stay away from right now. Being able to pay in-store without exchanging cash or touching credit card readers means staying healthy these days.

Since Apple Pay is powered by NFC technology, you can use it at any merchant that accepts NFC-based contactless payments. You only need to authorize the payments with Face ID or Touch ID. Of course, they also need to accept this particular payment method, but hundreds of thousands of merchants in Canada already do.

Canadians Might Soon Get Apple Card Too

Apple Card, issued by Goldman Sachs, has been available to US consumers since last year, and it might soon arrive in Canada. Apple tried to trademark its credit card in Canada last year with the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO), but nothing has happened with the matter since. On June 29, 2020, the company submitted another trademark application with the CIPO, but this time for its new program called the Path to Apple Card.

The program will allow Canadian consumers to get approved for an Apple Card once it rolls out in the country. If their application for the credit card gets denied, they may be eligible for the program that would provide them with personalized steps for getting approved once they reapply.

Is Apple Card Different Than Other Credit Cards?

This card works the same as any other credit card. You can use it for your everyday purchases at every merchant that accepts Apple Pay, both online and in-store.

However, it does have some unique features that make it quite attractive:

  • Simple application in the Wallet app
  • Unlimited daily cashback on all Apple Pay purchases (available with an Apple Cash card)
  • Interest-free monthly installments for Apple devices
  • No annual fees (See Other No Annual Fee Card Offers)
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Has No over-the-limit fees
  • No late fees (only low interest towards your balance for late or missed payments)

The cash you earn back (it’s real cash, not rewards points) when paying with the card using Apple Pay doesn’t expire. The card doesn’t have any visible numbers on it, which adds an additional security layer to all your mobile payments.

There’s no separate app that you need to download for the card. To check your balance, transactions, or anything else regarding your spending, you only need to use your Apple Wallet app. It will provide you with a real-time view of your spending. Another critical thing to note is that the card is issued in the Mastercard network, which means strong security and worldwide acceptance. Mastercard cards are accepted in more than 210 countries around the world, including Canada.

Given all these benefits of Apple Card, it’s no surprise that the news about its imminent arrival in Canada was met with tremendous enthusiasm.

We still don’t know for sure what its application requirements will be, but we’ll let you know as soon as the card becomes available in the country.

Dethroning Cash as King

The coronavirus pandemic has led to a dramatic shift from cash to cashless payments. Although people in Canada and the rest of the world are still using cash, most of them are increasingly relying on debit and credit cards. But with the need to reduce or eliminate physical touchpoints, mobile and contactless payments are rapidly taking center stage.

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This is quite an interesting shift in consumer behavior because people have always seen more stability in having real cash in their hands – especially since the 2008 financial crisis. Trust in banks and other financial institutions has evidently increased, and the current crisis doesn’t seem to affect it negatively. That’s probably in great part thanks to years of digitization of banking systems, which now offer much higher online security levels than ever before. But, of course, people are more focused on their health, which is precisely why the majority of them are putting their trust in mobile and NFC-based contactless payment methods.

Bottom Line

Apple expanding its Apple Pay support in Canada is exciting news for iOS users in the country, as it has opened many more doors for seamless mobile and contactless payments. Canadians can now use it for payments with Canada Post and Subway (and a vast network of other merchants) and pay monthly for AppleCare+ coverage. And as a cherry on top, they’ll finally gain access to the coveted Apple Card, which might be sooner than expected.


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