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Samsung moves in on Apple Pay in Canada, adding partners like Scotiabank

By: Dominic Licorish on November 1, 2017

Samsung is expanding its Android mobile payment app in Canada, adding access to new partners and making it more competitive with Apple Pay.

Scotiabank, American Express Canada, ATB Financial, Interac Debit, Visa Canada, and Mastercard can now all be added to Samsung Pay. No doubt Samsung hopes the additional partners will convince more people to use it and ditch their traditional wallets.

Even though the technology for mobile payments have been available on smartphones for a few years now, it’s taken a long time for digital wallet apps to add the functionality and compatibility needed for most people to make the switch. Samsung Pay, for example, only rolled out in Canada late last year with beta support for CIBC cards only.

According to Samsung’s press release, close to 60% of the Canadian population would be comfortable using digital-only providers for payments. In the meantime, people have turned to using plastic over cash. Cash usage has dropped 5% every year since 2011.

Support for debit cards is limited to the banks partnered with Samsung Pay, meaning ATB Financial, Scotiabank, and CIBC. Tangerine and Peoples Card Services are the next two partners planned. The company plans to continue expanding its payment options into 2018.

Samsung is playing catch up to Apple in the mobile payment space, which came to market sooner and has until now had more partners. It’s had support for credit cards from all of the big banks as well as some smaller institutions. Despite its growing popularity, it still doesn’t support every credit or debit card.

With a dominant share of the Android smartphone market, it appears that Samsung Pay is directly competing against Google’s payment app: Android Pay.  Android Pay has been right behind Apple, offering support for a large number of devices and providing compatibility with several large financial institutions including BMO, Desjardins, CIBC, and Scotiabank. While Samsung Pay only works with recent model Samsung phones, Android Pay works with Android based phones from any manufacturer. However, Samsung’s digital wallet might actually be a better choice at least for Samsung users, as it is compatible with more payment terminals than Android Pay.

Mobile payment and digital wallet technology has been a slow and confusing rollout, especially because not every card from a given partner will be supported by a digital wallet like Samsung Pay.

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