Rogers, BCE and Telus supported a new version of Suretap, the NFC-based mobile payments app.
Suretap was originally started by Rogers but then spun into a standalone entity at the end of last year. Now the app is also being offered by Rogers’ main rivals, as well as two MVNOs: the Telus-owned Koodo and Virgin Mobile Canada.
However, the app works with credit cards issued by Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC). The bank’s customers can add CIBC Visa or MasterCard credit cards to wallets on their smartphones for contactless purchases valued up to C$100.
A total of 38 different credit cards and 30 gift cards are available for Suretap, including payments cards from Rogers Bank and credit cards from CIBC.
Suretap acknowledges the importance of getting other financial institutions on board. “We have additional national banks lined up that we are working with, and I anticipate some time through late summer and into December, we’ll be rolling these out,” Jeppe Dorff, president of Suretap and a former Rogers exec, told The Globe and Mail.
While NFC is used for mobile payments, QR/barcodes are used with retailers’ infrared scanners to handle gift cards.
Canada is one of the countries where it was thought Apple Pay might be launched, following its US debut last year. In fact, that honour went to the UK but the threat of a powerful rival still hangs over Suretap.
Dorff appeared unfussed by the prospect. “I don’t think that this is a matter of them versus us,” he said. “There is, give or take, 70 per cent of the population that is non-Apple and those consumers need a ubiquitous experience as well.” Suretap is available on “more than 30” Android and BlackBerry devices, with other device platforms expected to follow before the end of the year.
Suretap will soon add debit, loyalty cards, as well as digital coupons and ID cards, which should make the app more appealing to consumers.