RBC and McDonald’s bring first NFC mobile debit transaction to Canada with a BlackBerry smartphone

By Michelle Haag on 12 Apr 2013 09:58 am EDT

In November of 2012, the first mobile credit payment was completed in Canada, made possible by Rogers and CIBC, and taking place at a Tim Hortons in Toronto.  More recently, on March 27th, the first Canadian mobile debit transaction was completed using NFC at a McDonald's in Toronto, utilizing an InteracFlash point-of-sale terminal, a BlackBerry Bold 9900, and an RBC bank account. Though it will be a bit longer before this NFC payment method is available to the general public, it is fantastic news and exciting to know that it's coming soon.

“This free mobile debit option will benefit both our clients and our merchants. RBC clients will be able to use their mobile devices to make debit payments when and where they wish to make them – and then to immediately check their online bank balance from those same devices,” explained Dave McKay, Group Head, Personal and Commercial Banking, RBC Royal Bank.

Canadians should be seeing the roll out of mobile Interac Flash later this year. You can learn more in the full press release below.

Press Release

First Interac Flash™ debit transactions made from a mobile phone

RBC and McDonald’s support a Canadian first from Interac®

TORONTO, ON (March 27, 2013) – Today marked the successful completion of the first Near Field Communication (NFC) mobile debit transactions in Canada, and among the first globally from a domestic debit network. Holding their mobile phones in front of an InteracFlash point-of-sale terminal at a McDonald’s restaurant, participants demonstrated how this new mobile payment option will work, paying for menu items securely and immediately using funds deducted directly from their RBC Royal Bank account. Mobile Interac Flash brings Interac Flash, Canada’s first and only contactless debit payment, to the mobile payments space.

“This achievement in mobile debit innovation helps solidify our role in the mobile payments space in Canada,” said Mark O’Connell, President and CEO, Interac Association and Acxsys Corporation. “Soon, Canadians will be able to use their mobile phones to pay with Interac Flash quickly, conveniently and securely when making everyday purchases – bringing added value not only to consumers, but also to the merchant community and our partner financial institutions.”

Today’s transactions used BlackBerry® smart phones, equipped with NFC functionality and an Interac Flash application, to make contactless debit transactions at a Toronto area McDonald’s restaurant. The Interac Flash application securely communicated the financial information to complete the contactless debit transaction in real time.

This achievement in mobile innovation was accomplished in partnership with McDonald’s Restaurants of Canada, the participating merchant, RBC Royal Bank, the participating financial institution, Moneris Solutions, the payment service provider facilitating the transactions, and BlackBerry, the mobile device provider.

Recognizing the value of this innovative product enhancement, RBC Royal Bank will be providing their customers with the speed, convenience and security of mobile Interac Flash when it comes to market, anticipated later this year. This announcement coincides with RBC’s decision to include all Interac Flash transactions as free debit transactions for personal banking accounts, a decision Interac Association/Acxsys Corporation applauds.

“This free mobile debit option will benefit both our clients and our merchants. RBC clients will be able to use their mobile devices to make debit payments when and where they wish to make them – and then to immediately check their online bank balance from those same devices,” explained Dave McKay, Group Head, Personal and Commercial Banking, RBC Royal Bank. "We know merchants want fast, secure and low-cost transactions and that is exactly what Interac Flash helps ensure.”   

The successful transactions that have taken place today set the stage for a roll out of mobile Interac Flash in the coming year.

“We’re pleased to offer our customers new and convenient payment options like mobile Interac Flash,” said Dave Hederson, Senior Vice President & CFO, McDonald’s Restaurants of Canada Limited. “As our customers’ purchasing needs and preferences continue to evolve, we are committed to providing them with relevant ways to interact with us as their favourite place to eat and drink.”  

“We help our merchants, such as McDonald’s, enable innovative and economical payment solutions, which is why we are thrilled to help facilitate today’s first mobile Interac Flash transaction,” said Jeff Guthrie, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer, Moneris Solutions Corporation.

“We are excited to be part of the first debit transaction in Canada using NFC, and we continue to work with partners to give customers the convenience, confidence, and choice to pay with any type of card,” added Frank Maduri, Senior Director, Product Management, NFC, Mobile Payments and Mobile Wallets at BlackBerry.

“As one of the first Canadian banks to introduce mobile banking and add Interac Flash to debit cards, we congratulate Interac on this development in mobile payments,” said Brian McCabe, Scotiabank Vice President of Day-to-Day Banking. “Today’s announcement is an important step in mobile payment technology, and at Scotiabank we look forward to giving our customers more options when making purchases in the near future.”

Topics: NFC Apps

Michelle Haag Michelle Haag "@_Miche11e_ and C0001B3B5" 1214 (articles) 1695 (forum posts)

Reader comments

RBC and McDonald’s bring first NFC mobile debit transaction to Canada with a BlackBerry smartphone


I like the concept of NFC, but just like with online purchases when it first became available to do, I am very timid about the security risks.

Posted via CB10

That's just it though. If your bank/credit card has the waves opposite the chip, you already have it.

All a bad guy needs to do is brush up against you with a reader and he has your info and access for a small $50.00 purchase.

The phone will use an app which will make reading the NFC info much harder for these scroats to fly by scan you as it were.

I can't wait to use this instead of my bank card. Yes loading an app may seem like taking the ease of use out of the equation but pulling out a wallet then a card can actually be more of a pain than simply tapping an app open.

Posted from the CB App on my White Zed 10

..not only that, but I for one pay a lot more attention to my Z10 than I do my wallet (not that I'm careless with my wallet). If I lose my wallet, I'm on the horn right away to cancel cards and order new ones, which is generally free. With my BB it's not a free replacement if I lose it, so naturally I tend to 'hold it tighter' as it were. Eventually I plan to just carry my health card and drivers license in the Otterbox with the BB and the credit/bank cards will be stored into the phone making for much lighter pockets...

You do realize that such an act by a criminal would not work for the following reasons:
1. he'd need access to an internet connection
2. he'd have to have a registered business with an HST number (tracked to him/her/them in the case of this fraud).
3. offline purchases do not work and are seen as fraud.
4. his business, and terminal has to be registered to the banking institution.
5. lastly, you're protected up to $75'000 (or is it $100'000 now by the federal banking system against such fraud).

Plus not everyone will want to be outside holding their wallets, and if somebody brushes up to my ass where my wallet is, best believe their going to hear something about it! Be aware of your surroundings as best you can. A smartphone normally is in your front pocket or in your breast pocket, add to that a fast loading app on BB10 (most likely in active frames standby), and a secure password ... not to worry.

I literally sat down with my Financial Planner and she went to ask IT if they are making the app... they said they are working on it.. but they are just taking their time to get it right before it releases

I hope you then have bb protect so you can wipe it out remotely and I hope you use a strong password on your phone.

Plus you best contact your provide to make a report of being stolen.

That's why you should lock BBZ10 with a password. Then use BlackBerry Protect to locate it. And in worse case scenario, wipe contents clear off.

Posted via CB10

So when will all banks and places of business utilize this option?

Remember to make sue you have a SureTap Sim installed.

Won't be switching to RBC just for this after their betrayal of Canadian workers. Love the idea and my Z10, but I will wait

Right, and timmies and the other fast food joints don't partake in this business practise.
Or those giant discount box stores we love to shop at.
How about the meat processing plants that no one wants to work at.

It's done far more than you think. RBC happened to get pointed out.

There are 213,000 foreign workers in Canada.
I wonder where else you won't being doing business.

Posted from the CB App on my White Zed 10

Appreciate your reply, but I haven't been in a Tim Horton's for over 20 years, can't take the smell of their pseudo-coffee, don't shop Wally World nor will I set foot in a Targette. I buy local here in Halifax for over 80% of my food and goods, unfortunately they don't grow avocado or limes in Nova Scotia ffs and Meat? I like to know where my food comes from and buy it from people I can talk to who actually did the butchering themselves. It isn't as difficult as you might think. You make your stand where you want and I will do the same. I am not concerned about foreign workers as much as I am concerned with corporations laying off Canadian citizens and replacing them with temporary workers brought in from offshore. It's a negative for everyone and the CEO of RBC has appologised for what it's worth. Thanks for the convo though

Hate to break it to you, but ALL the big Canadian banks use foreign workers. RBC is the only one that's being dragged through the mud about it.

Cibc needs to make a z10 app and enable this. It would be cool to try the phone as a pay pass tap and go. They're pass locked I would hope?

CB10- BlackBerry Z10

I assume you will have to confirm any action regarding NFC payment. By that I mean there will be a popup on the phone notifying you of the action/payment requested, then you have to hit okay and input your password. This would stop unwanted access.

Posted via CB10

To bad Mcdonald's boils their chickens alive, has pink slime burgers, and funds planned parenthood. Wish it was Burger King or Wendy's...

Posted via CB10

Are there currently any NFC mobile payment options available to consumers for the Z10? I'm in Canada on Rogers and can't find anything in BB World.

It's about time they've started using this technology. They've bragged on it for so long and focused their future on it then they need to start getting there money's worth.

Posted via CB10 from my Z10 or PlayBook!

Wow. RBC seems to be making quick and huge strides with the new system they've licensed.

Rogers is getting really big with this payment system, fearing a de facto standard that may not be readily available to the other major two or worse off the smaller incumbents here in Canada.

This os going to be huge! I'm very curious what the...

Blogger idea.

Posted via CB10

I look forward to using NFC, hope they have it for using your visa soon. I dont eat at McDonalds, but I buy their coffee.

Of course it will because BlackBerry has their own payment system which not only runs BlackBerry phones but other manufacturers' as well.

It's quite possible.

BlackBerry created a very secure and solid infrastructure that is in use by Rogers Wireless & CIBC for their credit card payment system already deployed and limited to $50, yet the name escapes me for some reason.

This payment system is bigger than what Rogers, CIBC and Visa have currently. Why do I think this?

Moneris Solutions,
and kids that eat McD's roughly 3 times a week for lunch or more if you include their family's. Maybe no where near as much as kids in the USA but its significant enough. More importantly is debit cards, still limited are being offered to be used as a MasterCard debit card as well (TD currently offers this, I'm unsure about other institutions).

Will BlackBerry make significant revenues of such partnerships? who knows but the good will advertising definitely helps and keeps the brand at the forefront of people's minds - a GOOD thing considering the crap in the press their dealing with and a conversation starter as well in the lineup.

I could not imagine using anything less than a Blackberry for banking. With NFC banking going mainstream in the very near future it's only a matter of time before android is hacked and security is number 1 on the consumer's radar.

RBC lost me as a customer the day I found out about hiring Foreign Workers to replace Canadian Workers.

Anyone know how to actually get this working? I have a RBC account (not sure for how much longer) and I have a blackberry. My debit card already uses NFC just how to use my cell instead

Posted via CB10