Put your wallet on hiatus, Apple Pay is available for Interac debit cardholders with all major banks

A greater reach for Canadian consumers could lead to a greater problem with debt

Apple Pay is here to stay. Canadians from coast to coast can pay for their Interac debit card purchases regardless of what major Canadian bank they belong to by using their iPhone or Apple Watch without their wallet in hand.

apple pay

Interac Association/Acxsys Corporation (Interac) has announced the addition of the last three major Canadian banks: the Bank of Montreal Financial Group, Bank of Nova Scotia and Toronto Dominion Bank allowing their customers to use the Apple Pay app for digital transactions.

“The added convenience may be good for some Canadian consumers however you have to think about, at what cost?” says Jeffrey Schwartz, executive director, Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada.

“So many Canadians are struggling with their debt management and you have to wonder, is part of it because of the rise of digital technology? If consumers do not know how to manage their digital purchases, it could lead to a major problem with debt,” says Schwartz.

A recent report from Moneris says contactless transactions are at an all-time high and credit and debit card usage has gone up almost 15 per cent year-over-year in Q1 2016 alone.

“While this new technology is great for many, those Canadian consumers who are struggling with debt should be weary of the downside of making it too easy for them to spend, says Schwartz. To help Canadians avoid getting into debt with excessive contactless transactions, Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada offers the following tips:

  1. Create a budget for your monthly digital purchases. When you plan how much you will spend on a monthly basis, you will avoid the horror of draining your bank account before pay day.
  2. Create a pre-set limit for your digital purchases on your Apple Pay app. This will help you stay within your budget every month.
  3. If your tap and go purchases are getting out of control, adopt a cash-only lifestyle. Get used to carrying cash in your wallet again. It is harder to spend $100 from your wallet than using digital technology to make a $100 purchase.
  4. If you need help with keeping your spending under control, reach out, you are not alone. Enlist the help of a trained credit counsellor to help you with your debt management.

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