The Right Click

Tim Hortons the latest retailer to accept smartphone payments

The Right Click

If you’re in one of the selected test areas, you may soon be paying for your double double with your phone.

Tim Hortons recently rolled out an update to its BlackBerry, iOS and Android apps  allowing customers in certain regions the ability to pay for their orders using the new in-app payment system. Previously, customers could check the balance and add money to their Tim Card, Tim Horton’s re-loadable gift card, but this latest change will eliminate the need for carrying a card at all.

[ Related: How a Toronto-area Tim Hortons helped the franchise get its start ]

"We're always looking to provide our Tim Hortons guests with the best overall customer experience, and mobile payment is one area that we feel can help streamline the average time spent at the order counter," said David Clanachan, COO of Tim Hortons, in a press release. "These new innovations offer secure, quick and easy payment alternatives, allowing our guests more time enjoying their favourite food and beverages."

This is the second move this year towards Tim Hortons supporting faster payment processes in its stores. It now accepts payment by credit cards using ‘tap’ technology in many locations.

Fans of the pricier Starbucks have been paying for their daily brew with smartphones since the company introduced the app payment option in 2011. In fact the same company, First Data, that helped create the mobile payment system for Tim Hortons has also worked with Starbucks, Cineplex, Sobeys and Burger King here in Canada. But none have quite met the massive success of the Starbucks app, particularly south of the border.

Earlier this year, Starbucks announced that 10% of purchases made at Starbucks locations in the U.S. were paid for using the app, available for both iOS and Android. A study of mobile payment systems available in the U.S., including Square, Google Wallet and several others also found that “the vast majority of these payments were made using Starbucks’ phenomenally successful smartphone app, whereas mobile wallets that can be used at multiple merchants have yet to gain traction,” research firm Berg Insights said in a press release.

[ Related on Y! Finance: What Tim Hortons and the TTC reveal about Canada’s mobile future ]

Other fast food restaurants like Wendy’s have tested out mobile payment pilots, but not to the ‘phenomenal success’ of what Starbucks has achieved with theirs.

For now, Tim Hortons is still in the early stages of its mobile payment system, rolling out its scan-to-pay system on iOS and Android devices at locations around Ontario’s Niagara region. BlackBerry 10 users across Canada can use near-field communication (NFC) tap-to-pay at participating locations. For more information on the program and whether your local Timmy’s is offering the service, visit the Tim Hortons website.

Need to know what’s hot in tech? Follow @YRightClick on Twitter!

View Comments (118)