This may not be true of ALL of Canada, since the Provinces are quite independent so experiences may vary, but I have been travelling here for a couple of weeks and learned some tricks I thought I would pass on.
Canada uses a unique debit payment system called Interac and this is the one that is recognised by most shops.
A Dozens card, or any UK debit card, using Mastercard or VISA, will not be recognised as a debit card for transactions. It WILL work, but in shops you will be asked whether it is a “debit card or credit card” and despite all logical arguments, in fact our cards should be treated as “credit” cards for these transactions.
Contactless will work, but in many cases you will need to warn the assistant that the card should be treated as a credit card.
This is particularly confusing when withdrawing cash from an ATM.
When you put your card in the machine, you will be asked whether the money should come from your “chequing” (current) or “savings” account, or whether it should be a “cash advance” (i.e. a credit card)?
Here again, you will need to select “credit card” or “cash advance”. This is NOT treated as a cash advance by Dozens, but it means that the transaction will be routed via the correct payment channels.
There is still not fee charged by Dozens for this transaction!
One minor complication I have come across is that not all Canadian banks (e.g. Scotia Bank) have relationships with Mastercard and VISA, and therefore you will not be able to use their ATMs. You will need to check with the relevant bank before using the machine - I assume they will display the logos if they accept it.
If anyone has any further experience of banking in Canada and can add to this explanation or let us know what banks might be best to use, then feel free to join in.