Apple Pay will launch in Canada tomorrow, American Express has confirmed to the website iPhone in Canada. It will be the third region that the NFC payment service has launched in, following the US and the UK.
Competition in the mobile payments space has grown fast since Apple Pay originally launched in the US late last year. Its most direct competitor, Android Pay, launched in September of this year, and is available on any Android phone running 4.4 KitKat or higher. Samsung Pay launched one month later, and is even more capable than both Apple and Android Pay because it combines NFC payments with Magnetic Secure Transmission. That means it works with just about any credit card reader — not just the new, NFC-compatible point of sale terminals. (Samsung says that MST technology works with more than 80 percent of existing credit card readers in the US, which gives it a much greater reach than Apple or Android Pay.)
Android Pay and Samsung Pay are, for now, only available in the US. But American Express appears to be the only Apple Pay partner that will be available at launch in Canada. As TechCrunch points out, Canadian Banks, Visa, and MasterCard are all hesitant to sign up for the service, likely because banks and credit card companies are in the process of developing their own mobile payments services. After Canada, Apple Pay is supposed to launch in Australia later this year, as well as Hong Kong, Spain, and Singapore sometime next year.