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.