Tim Hortons kick starts Canadian mobile payments industry

Canada is now part of the quickly-growing mobile payments industry thanks to Tim Hortons' new service for customers who have a CIBC credit card account and an enabled Rogers BlackBerry smartphone.

According to a news release, Tim Hortons hosted the first Canadian mobile credit card 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 enabled Rogers smartphones up to the Tim Hortons contactless PIN pad and make quick and secure purchases directly onto their CIBC Visa or CIBC MasterCard.

In October, the chain announced it was also going to offer contactless payments systemwide by 2013, through its Interac Association's Flash-enabled terminals.

"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."

In the restaurant space, the mobile payments option is still few and far between. Subway is testing the service in some California units. Tim Hortons' biggest Canadian competitor McDonald's is trying it out in France. Dunkin' Donuts' new app features an m-payment platform, albeit through a Dunkin' Donuts gift card. And in August, Starbucks announced a partnership with Square to process mobile payments throughout the chain.

According to Juniper Research, global mobile payments will account for $670 billion by 2015.

Read more about mobile initiatives.

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