Tim Hortons Finally Gives In

It’s 7am and you’re on your way to work.  You stop at the usual stop every morning, to grab your cup of energy before you battle the rush hour traffic.  You pull into the drive thru and the lineup seems to be taking a little longer than usual to move.  You’re the next car up when you notice, the car ahead of you… the guy hands the cashier a card, and while you expect the cashier to just hand the card back, instead the cashier gives him… a PINPAD????  What is going on?

Tim Hortons announced earlier this week that they have launched Interac debit acceptance across the country.  What was once only a payment method offered in the western provinces; Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia,  is now available in all provinces across the country.  What was once a MasterCard only accepting merchant was the last of major national chains holding out on Interac debit acceptance.

Some critics seem to suggest that Tim Hortons has caved to consumer pressure and by doing so, could actually end up dissatisfying a large number of consumers who rely on the fast services and quick line-ups.  By introducing a new form of payment, it is conceivable that the line-ups will slow down and force customers to wait longer for their usual cup of coffee and 10 pack of Timbits.

However, studies have shown that the line-ups in the western provinces move just as quickly as their central and eastern counterparts.  Largely because Interac debit card usage is a norm for Canadians.  Canada repeatedly ranks in the top 5 countries around the world for debit card usage year over year.  Purchasing goods with a debit card is not a new practice for Canadians.  So while undoubtedly in the beginning, there will be a learning curve for both employees and consumers, soon purchasing your double double with your debit card this will become common practice.

The reality is, Tim Hortons could not afford to hold out from accepting Canada’s most popular form of payment for much longer.  It has been noted that almost 60% of all transactions in the country are Interac debit transactions.  Statistics also show that more and more Canadians prefer not to carry cash and will choose to purchase at a merchant that accepts their preferred payment option over one that does not.

Also technology continues to advance.  Contactless transactions are slowly being introduced into the market and as they pick up traction, more and more merchants will adopt the technology.  Flashing a card in front of a reader will surely be faster than counting out the exact change.  While your local Tim Hortons already accepts MasterCard Paypass, it alone may not be the popular way to pay.  But as more and more card brands introduce their contactless products, acceptance will be more prevalent.

There’s a reason why consumer demand is ranked as one of the highest reasons for a merchant introducing new practices or products.  Because consumer satisfaction is ultimately what keeps them coming back.  By taking this major step, Tim Hortons has shown that they are listening to their customers… something every merchant should be doing.  Do you have a debit machine for your business…?

Have a Question?

Ask One of Our Expert Merchant Account Brokers Your Question By Filling Out The Form Below. We Will Get Back To Very Quickly.
  • All questions are kept confidential and not posted publicly.
  • What is your most important question about payment processing.


About Admin

Matthew Hunt has been helping small businesses get set-up with Canadian Merchant Account Services since 2007 and helped 1000's do so. Join Matthew on Google+.


Subscribe to our e-mail newsletter to receive updates.

Comments are closed.