/How Banks Are Competing in the Race of Mobile Payment Systems

How Banks Are Competing in the Race of Mobile Payment Systems

Decades ago, mobile payments may have sounded like something out of Star Trek movie where money does not exist. Today, however, it is fast becoming a reality, simply because of the convenience it affords to customers.  At least 13% of Canada is already using mobile banking and it is a feature that more and more banks are getting into.


Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) is the largest financial institution in Canada. The bank was founded in 1864, and today caters to 18 million clients over 52 countries. RBC has come up with their own mobile app which can be downloaded for free on their website and is compatible with all mobile OSs. Other than the usual features of paying bills, transferring funds from RBC accounts and checking account history, the app has a few new features. The features are managing your payee list, sending and receiving Interac e-Transfers (through either email or text) and setting up post-dated transactions. In July, RBC also announced plans to start a Secure Cloud mobile payments service.


The TD Canada Trust, a division of the Toronto-Dominion Bank, has recognized mobile banking by launching a TD mobile app for the iPhone, iTouch, Blackberry and Android devices. The app is currently available in French as well as English and is very easy to download from the respective OS markets.

Using the TD app, you can access your TD Canada Trust and TD Waterhouse account at the same time. A unique feature of the app is their cross border banking feature. You can trade for Canadian and US equities and Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) as long as you have a TD Waterhouse account.


In April 2013, Bank of Montreal announced its Mobile Wallet powered by MasterPass to save customers from the hassles of regular payment methods. They describe it as a secured and convenient way to do so. It stores your credit and debit card information and passes it on when you have to make a payment to a vendor.

The BMO mobile app is only available on three mobile platforms – Android, Blackberry and Apple.  Other than the usual set of features a banking app has, the BMO app has a ‘PayPass Mobile Tag’ which allows for transfer of money to make payments thus eliminating the need for cash.


Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce has been the first bank to start mobile payments, but in spite of their lead, they have fallen back. In 2010, CIBC became the first bank to roll in a mobile application to facilitate its account holders. According to statistics, 8% of all banks’ overall transactions were done through mobiles. That is when the bank authorities took note of the need to establish presence in the mobile banking market and launched the Near Field Communication (NFC) based mobile payments app in late 2012. NFC allows users to exchange detail payments between vendors in a safe and secure manner. CIBC has a Mobile Payment app which is compatible only with Android and Blackberry. However, their android app is only available for the Samsung Galaxy SIII.

Currently, though RBC does not have a specific mobile payment app and the feature is included in their banking features, the Secure Cloud mobile payments service has set them to put them ahead of the rest.

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Techie at heart, Sam is a Co-Founder and Chief Marketing Strategist at @RapidBoostAuto and Co-Founder of B2B Connect Edmonton. He has worked with companies like Dell, Extreme Pita & Samsung. His certifications include: MCITP, MCSA, MCTS, MCP and Security+ Want to make your online business idea happen? Sam is your guy!