November 03, 2015 09:00 ET

Canadian Fintech Firms Lead Mobile Payment Race

Canadian disruptors surpass Apple Pay functionality, integration and convenience

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - Nov. 3, 2015) - Despite recent reports indicating low consumer adoption of mobile payments across Canada, Apple announced last week that it will make it's "long awaited" foray up North before year's end. Surprisingly to many, the technology giant further revealed the mobile payment and digital wallet service will be limited to American Express Card Members - both consumer and merchant - leaving critics wary of significant uptake of the technology upon initial entry.

In fact, recent commentary suggests mobile payment has been slow to take off due in part to lack of accessibility. In order to go cash and card-less, consumers will require a system that seamlessly links account information from any bank or credit card onto a mobile device supplied by any carrier. As a result, limiting functionality to one financial provider will inevitably restrict some users and may potentially prevent adoption.

While Apple is receiving the lion's share of attention in the mobile payment space, Canada's fintech industry is rapidly gaining speed with an ever increasing number of start-ups introducing disruptive technology that is changing the way consumers interact with money and evolving current financial services. In fact, a handful of Canadian-born start-ups have developed technology that solves the obstacles proposed by critics, offering a product that seamlessly connects real funds from any account type to a host of platforms.

One example is Vancouver-based nTrust, a mobile payment and peer-to-peer money transfer platform that allows users to upload funds into the cloud and pay merchants or peers directly through the touch for a few buttons on their mobile application. Rather than limited to a sole provider or credit issuers, users can load real funds directly from any Canadian financial institution, credit union, or credit card provider directly into their nTrust account in the cloud. Furthermore, while the application is available on both Android and iOS devices, the mobile responsive technology connects users to their account from any connected device, operating on any network.

For nTrust, user adoption has been slow yet steady since launching the app 2014, and while the functionality may be more advanced than Apple Pay nTrust believes Apple's entry into the market may effectively assist with adoption.

"Significant behavioural changes don't occur overnight," said Rod Hsu, President of nTrust. "That's especially true when it comes to the way people interact with money. Over the last little while we've seen many users dip their toe in the mobile payment pool, so to speak, by trailing mobile payments for small purchases, or at one specific retailers. While the introduction of Apple Pay will certainly change the competitive landscape, we're optimistic that it will encourage more of this trial and that as a result a growing number of consumers become comfortable transacting with their money in a new and innovative way."

Contact Information

  • Katie Stevens
    Katies [at] talkshopmedia.com