Apple has accomplished what no other FinTech company has: it has negotiated with the Big Five Canadian banks to expand Apple Pay to support Visa, MasterCard and Interac.

The company announced today that Apple Pay will now support credit and debit cards running on the Visa or MasterCard credit networks, along with the hugely popular Interac debit network, for all five major banks and two smaller financial institutions.

As of May 10th, Apple Pay is available from:

  • CIBC (Visa, MasterCard, Interac)
  • RBC (Visa, MasterCard, Interac)
  • ATB (MasterCard, with Interac coming soon)
  • Canadian Tire Financial Services (MasterCard)

Coming in June:

  • BMO (MasterCard, Interac)
  • TD Canada Trust (Visa, MasterCard, Interac)
  • Scotiabank (Visa, Interac)

The other Big Three banks, TD Canada Trust, BMO, and Scotiabank, have all signed on to support Apple Pay, but support for their Visa, MasterCard, and Interac cards won't go live until June, according to representatives from the remaining banks, which comprise more than half of Canada's personal credit and debit card customers.

As we told you in our expansive FAQ, Apple Pay stores user credit and debit credentials on a small secure element embedded in the A8 or A9 chip of the iPhone 6 or 6s series. It then uses NFC to transfer those credentials to a touchless terminal, issuing a new, random number in place of the actual credit or debit numbers using a standard known as tokenization. All merchant terminals with tap-to-pay support Apple Pay, which has already been available for American Express customers since last year.

In addition to physical payments, support for Visa and MasterCard will come to purchases made within apps in June.