Did you know that 83 percent of mobile users have a smartphone, and that 63 percent of them use it to conduct mobile banking? On top of that, Interac debit is the most preferred payment method in Canada, with 53 percent of transactions occurring over the Interac network in 2015. The evolution of debit onto mobile platforms is a natural move for Interac, and now Canadians can choose to pay using Interac with their Apple devices.

Consumers with Interac debit cards issued by all five of Canada’s major banks (BMO Financial Group, CIBC, RBC, Scotiabank, and TD) can now add their cards to Apple Pay on eligible devices. With Canadians using Interac an average of 16-million times daily to pay and exchange money, Interac on Apple Pay is significant for the early adoption of mobile payments.

“Our goal is to develop products that add consumer convenience while ensuring the safety and security of their money,” said Avinash Chidambaram, Vice President, Product and Platform Development, Interac Association and Acxsys Corporation. “Choosing mobile payments means Canadian consumers don’t have to open up their purse or wallet to pay. They can instead reach for their mobile device and remain protected by strong security features and the Interac zero customer liability policy”. Soon Canadians will also be able to choose Interac for In-App payments, further simplifying the online shopping experience and providing yet another way to use your own money when making purchases.

To use Interac with Apple Pay, consumers must first add their debit card to their Apple Wallet. Once this process is complete, paying with your Apple device is simple: just hold your iPhone or Apple Watch on top of the contactless payment terminal with your finger held on Touch ID and the transaction is complete. Apple Pay works with the iPhone SE, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, and Apple Watch, and can be used anywhere contactless payments are already accepted, which is literally hundreds of thousands of locations.

A key part of this new payment technology is the Interac Token Service Provider (TSP) service, which protects consumers from criminal activities and fraud. Tokenization means that each Apple Pay transaction is validated with a one-time unique token that is specific to your device and cannot be reused. The concept of substituting consumers’ financial information with a “token” has been integral to the security of Interac products. For example, the number on the front of an Interac debit card is simply an identifier and not an account number, which is part of the reason why the Interac network has such low fraud numbers. The TSP was developed in collaboration with IBM, a world leader in mobile and cloud computing, Bell ID, a global provider of tokenization software for mobile payments, and Everlink, a leading provider of integrated payment solutions and services.

With strong infrastructure like contactless terminals already prevalent to support mobile payments, Canadians will surely be pulling out their smart phones with increasing frequency to make everyday purchases.