Rogers and its banking partner CIBC have been making much ado over bringing NFC mobile payments to Canada since the spring, but the companies have been mostly silent on actual availability and let a rumored October 15th launch date pass by without fanfare. The two partners are at last ready to swing into action, at least symbolically -- a photo-op at a Tim Hortons in Toronto on Friday will officially represent the first instance of their payment system being used in the wild. What we've seen officially and otherwise hasn't changed, which means that event star and triathlete Simon Whitfield will be using one of two NFC-equipped BlackBerry phones with a special SIM card while he buys a meal that we imagine involves coffee and maple-glazed donuts. Rogers hasn't said how soon the less sporty among us will be making payments, although the limited choices of phones (two) and carriers (one) will only give a handful of Canucks a chance to join in.
Update: Just as Whitfield's coffee is cooling off, Rogers has given out full details: the CIBC mobile payment option will roll out later in the month to at least 2,300 Tim Hortons restaurants across Canada, with 3,000 more joining in by December. It's called Suretap, as the earlier leak confirmed, and there's no sudden support for Android, Windows Phone or other platforms until 2013. A total of 17 merchants using MasterCard PayPass and Visa PayWave will be eligible to start.
Canadian first: Mobile payments using smartphones now accepted at Tim Hortons
Largest national restaurant chain ready to accept CIBC credit card payments directly from enabled Rogers smartphones
OAKVILLE, ON, Nov. 2, 2012 /CNW/ - Tim Hortons helped make history today, playing host to the first Canadian mobile credit card transaction. Canadian Olympic Triathlete Simon Whitfield purchased a Tim Hortons coffee at a downtown Toronto restaurant using a Rogers BlackBerry smartphone and CIBC credit card account. Now Tim Hortons guests, who are clients of CIBC and Rogers, will be able to pay for their favourite coffee, breakfast or lunch without ever opening their wallet.
"Tim Hortons invested in new payment terminals for nearly all of our Canadian restaurants to allow contactless and mobile payments," said David Clanachan, Chief Operating Officer, Tim Hortons. "We are always looking to bring innovative options that offer our guests more convenience and faster ways to pay. We believe Canadians will increasingly embrace the opportunity to make mobile payments and we are excited to be at the forefront of this technology with this milestone transaction today."
Tim Hortons' new all-in-one PIN pad technology supports all methods of payment on one device, including chip and pin, tap and swipe payments for acceptance of Tim Card, debit cards, credit cards and now mobile payments. Approximately 2,300 Tim Hortons restaurants in Canada are already equipped with the new technology, with more than 3,000 restaurants expected to participate by December.
Later this month, using the CIBC Mobile Payment App, Canadians will be able to hold select Rogers smartphones up to the Tim Hortons contactless PIN pad and make purchases quickly and securely directly onto their CIBC Visa or CIBC MasterCard. More information can be found at www.rogers.com/suretap and www.cibc.com/mobile.
The availability of mobile transactions builds on Tim Hortons recent introductions of a variety of payment options. Earlier this year, Tim Hortons introduced Visa and Interac Flash to complement MasterCard, MasterCard PayPass and Interac Debit payment options.