As many people can attest, Google hasn't always been particularly quick or consistent to bring wanted–or needed–services to countries outside of the United States. Some have been slower than others, and perhaps the ones feeling it the most are our neighbors to the north, Canada. Among the absentee services is Android Pay, leaving both Apple Pay and Samsung Pay as the primary contenders in that market. However, that appears to be changing as Google prepares to support Interac, a network of banks providing most of the debit cards in the country.
The features discussed below are probably not live yet, or may only be live for a small percentage of users. Unless stated otherwise, don't expect to see these features if you install the apk.
Interac is a bit like a Canadian analog to Visa and MasterCard in the US – but with many, many fundamental differences. It serves as a network of financial institutions and other companies for the purpose of enabling electronic transactions, and currently includes over 80 member organizations, many of which are responsible for either issuing debit cards or providing transactional services and support (for retailers).
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Evidence of the Interac collaboration is very straightforward, albeit lean. There's a single string and one image representing the name and logo. Since things like credit card terms of service, card images, and various other resources have to be requested on the spot, owing to the fact that banks may change them as needed, it's normal for Android Pay to include only the bare essentials.
Involvement with Interac doesn't automatically mean all of its member organizations will be instantly supported on Android Pay. Each one will probably have to sign on individually, just as they have within the US and UK. However, it will certainly streamline the process and should allow most or all members to join almost immediately, at least as they take care of the technical details on their end.
As usual, announcements and launch dates can't be judged from this little bit of information, but if history is anything to go by, resources are rarely added to Android Pay unless it's in preparation for testing or making a formal announcement. In other words, it's fair to say it will probably happen relatively soon.
The APK is signed by Google and upgrades your existing app. The cryptographic signature guarantees that the file is safe to install and was not tampered with in any way. Rather than wait for Google to push this download to your devices, which can take days, download and install it just like any other APK.