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Experts say Canada is a hotbed of activity for contactless partly because MasterCard emphasized the technology there when the country began its shift to EMV chip card technology several years ago.

“Canada is the number one country in the world for PayPass usage, so it’s completely logical that the success of the issuers who have seen results in their contactless card portfolios would start the process of moving to phones,” says Todd Ablowitz, president of mobile payment consulting firm Double Diamond Group. Ablowitz, a former senior executive of Vivotech Inc., tells PaymentsSource he devoted time to helping develop the Canadian market for contactless and mobile payments.

MasterCard Canada says 18,000 merchant locations deploying about 100,000 terminals accept contactless payments.

Payments Source, September 13, 2011