Canada's big banks to roll out Apple Pay after making peace with tech titan

The Apple Pay mobile payment system is adding several major Canadian partners, including at least two of the big banks.

Royal Bank and CIBC say they'll accept Visa and MasterCard credit card payments through compatible Apple devices starting today and Bank of Montreal says the feature is "coming soon."

Launched last year in the U.S., Apple Pay allows iPhone users to pay for items via their smartphones, while the company transfers money from their financial institution behind the scenes.

The system launched in Canada last year too but hasn't had much pickup because the big banks had been reluctant to sign up. Apple Pay used to only work with non-bank American Express cards, which are rare in Canada.

The company took that tack specifically because Amex is both the card issuer and payment processor, and thus easier to coordinate. Visa and Mastercard typically offer cards tied to financial institutions.

Tuesday's announcement will also make Apple Pay available to users with Interac debit cards issued by RBC and CIBC.

Interac says it's working to bring Apple Pay to debit cards issued by all Canada's biggest banks, including Scotiabank and TD.

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