Oakville, Ontario – When it comes to baked goods, Canadians know there’s really only one place in this prosperous G7 nation to find it: Tim Horton’s Cafe and Bake Shop. In fact, 3 out of every 4 fresh baked goods are bought at this fast food outlet. In terms of overall sales, one in every five loos spent on fast food occur here. For the past decade, McDonald’s has been beat out of the top spot by this chain.
Now, Tim Horton’s will soon allow customers with iPhones to make payments via the protocol called near field communication (NFC). Consider NFC like a wireless form of bar code scanning. Tim Horton’s will install specially programmed chips at their counter and iPhone customers merely have to pass by with their iPhones to pay for their goods. Now, the announcement doesn’t mean that every one of the chain’s 3,610 locations in Canada will be accepting NFC payments at this time. The program will launch in select sites as part of a pilot program to work out any potential issues before a nationwide rollout occurs. In addition to supporting NFC payments, Tim Horton’s will also make use of Apple’s Passbook app. This is an application that stores in movie tickets, airline boarding passes, coupons, and gift cards in one central location. The items may be redeemed directly from the app. Customers will purchase a Tim Horton’s gift card and debit their purchases using NFC.
While the announcement doesn’t exactly represent a ground-breaking technological advancement, it does signify that Tim Horton’s is keeping up with the competition. Starbucks, their main coffee & baked goods competitor, has supported wireless payments for a few years. However, the announcement will yet be another reason why this chain will likely remain the number one fast food venue for the foreseeable future.