Anyone who knows me won’t be surprised that I dove in and bought the latest Apple Watch, yet another gadget to add to my ever growing tech collection! Luckily I was able to score a deal on Kijiji, those who know me also know I hate paying full price for things if I don’t have to! In this post I’ll tell you all about Apple Pay with an Apple Watch and where you can use it in Canada, and my experience at local Toronto retailers.
I absolutely love my Apple Watch, but was a bit skeptical of the notion of “Apple Pay” and paying for things from my wrist. I decided to conduct an experiment at local Toronto retailers to combine my love of technology and shopping…my friend Tamara and I hit up the mall and the mission was to try to pay for as many things (that I was already buying) as possible with my new wrist wallet, that sounds weird, but we’ll just go with it.
Let’s start from the beginning, before we went to the mall I had to load all of my cards onto my iPhone (and Watch) via the “Wallet” App that comes on all new iPhone models. You’ll only have to do this once. I loaded 2 credit cards and one debit card. It was an easy process, and kind of fun too! I used the iPhone camera to load my cards, the camera somehow registers the name and numbers on the card and pulls them up onto the iPhone screen so you don’t even have to type out all the numbers. Nice! Then there were security measures and codes I had to get via secure email from my banks (BMO & CIBC) in order to finalize the card-adding process.
The Wallet App “Pay” part only allows you to add debit or credit cards, but I wanted to have all of my loyalty cards (remember I like to save a buck!) on my watch as well…so I found another App called “Stocard” that allows you to scan in your loyalty/store cards and keeps them on your phone/watch for you. I loaded all of my loyalty cards similarly to the Wallet App, they have a list of frequently used cards, you click it then it prompts you to scan the card. If the card has a barcode you scan it and the number automatically gets stored in the app for you. Here are a couple screenshots from the Stocard App on my iPhone.
Now that everything was loaded onto my watch and phone it was time for a trip to the mall. I tried to pay with my watch every time I made a purchase. I quickly figured out that only stores that have “tap” / “contactless payment” compatible machines worked with my watch. Look for the following symbols at the checkout:
Here’s a chart that shows where it worked and where it didn’t based on a few trips to local merchants:
Here are some photos of my Apple Watch in action:
In the end I was pretty impressed with the ease of use and functionality of the Apple Watch for using Apple Pay and being able to quickly make purchases without searching through my purse for my wallet and fiddling with all of my cards. However, I was hoping more stores would be equipped and that maybe even I’d be able to leave my purse that weighs a brick at home for future shopping trips. As of today (July 2016) there aren’t enough retailers that have compatible “tap” or “contactless payment” machines to be able to pay with the Apple Watch everywhere. I’m sure as time goes on more and more stores will upgrade to include this feature. For now, I’m going to have to continue to carry my heavy purse around with me so I can avoid “Oh snap, no tap!”* situations!
–Note that Apple Pay will only work in stores with iPhones and Apple Watches, it won’t work on iPad devices as of now.
LIST OF RETAILERS IN CANADA WITH TAP OR CONTACTLESS APPLE PAY OPTION:
(As of July 2016, I will update this list as I learn about more stores)
-Mark’s Work Warehouse
-Shopper’s Drug Mart (Optimum card scanned too!)
-Call It Spring
FOOD & DRINK:
-On the Go rest stops
-Crepe de Licious
-TTC (Toronto Transit Commission)
Don’t forget to “watch” 😉 for Apply Pay retailers in Canada and let me know if you come across any others. Happy shopping!
*Kudos to Tamara for coming up with the “Oh snap, no tap!” expression!