Tangerine to become Canada’s first digital bank with Visa-linked checking accounts

September 14, 2020.

Bank of Nova Scotia subsidiary  said Monday that later this year, it will become the first fully digital bank in Canada to offer Visa Debit.

The new partnership will allow the bank’s customers to use money from their Tangerine Checking Accounts to make online, international and in-app purchases where Visa Debit is accepted, using new cards that will be phased in throughout the fall.

"We are very pleased to work with Tangerine Bank to offer their clients more choice, flexibility and security through access to Visa's leading debit capabilities," said Stacey Madge, president and country manager of Visa Canada. "As one of Canada's leading digital banks, Tangerine will bring Visa Debit to even more Canadians looking for new ways to shop online."

Tangerine was launched in 1997 and acquired in 2012 by Toronto-based Bank of Nova Scotia, also known as , the country’s third-largest by assets. 

"This new offering will allow our clients to get more from debit — enhancing our already great checking account with new features that bring them more value, added convenience and security when making online purchases or paying bills," Tangerine President and CEO Gillian Riley said. 

Tangerine touted the San Francisco-based company’s security features such as Visa Zero Liability protection, which promises that customers won’t pay for unauthorized purchases, as well as Visa Debit’s “vast network” including more than 1.5 million online merchants in Canada and over 55 million international retailers.

"We take pride in listening to our clients, and this is something they've told us they want,” Riley added.

Tangerine has 2 million clients and nearly $40 billion in assets.

To drum up enthusiasm, the digital bank is running a promotion that offers checking customers a chance to win one of five $10,000 prizes when they opt in to receive the new card before Oct. 13 and choose one of two available designs.

Otherwise, existing customers will be notified when they can sign up to upgrade, while those who join the bank after the new card is rolled out will receive it automatically.