Not long ago a group of executives got together to discuss exactly when Android Pay is coming to Canada and why it is taking so long. Canada is after all, joined to the U.S. by the hip - there are deals being worked out all of the time between Google/Android techs and major corporations, so what is the problem? TD Securities and Google Canada Managing Director, Sam Sebastian sat down to a forum discussion, in front of few hundred employees. They discussed how Canadian banks need to step up their innovated sides to work with Google and other financial technology (fintech) companies in Canada in a much faster way. However, it all boiled down to everybody hoping we could see an early 2016 launch of Android Pay.
The video is worth watching if you plan on using Android Pay in Canada - but remember you can already do NFC payments through RBC. The video shows you there is a lot more to setting this up than Google and a financial institution agreeing to allow their card on your phone to make payments. TD Securities admitted that banks are behind the times when it comes to innovation and even when they decide to make changes, it takes so long that they are outdated. They claim they need to start faster and jump on this new technology so they are on board with what the consumers are demanding.
Sam Sebastian explained that Android Pay is more than simply a way to make a mobile payment for a product...that is the easy part by allowing you to leave your credit cards at home. Nice idea, but Google wants to make it more convenient when it comes to loyalty cards - they are everywhere. Grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations, banks, convenience stores, airlines, and clothing stores - all have loyalty or bonus cards and Google wants to make sure that you accrue all of your necessary purchases and it is a lot harder than people imagine using many different systems. And Google is nothing, if not about advertising, where they make the majority of their money. Google has to be able to track if an Android Pay user went to a website, shopped around, then went to make a purchase - whether it be now or if they waited until later. This is some very tough information to track even for a technical giant such as Google. TD Securities said that it is fine line to walk - to be innovative of one side, taking risks through innovation, while moving forward in a fiscally responsible manner.