Tim Hortons Testing Mobile Payments with iPhone App in the Niagara Region


timmyme_1Under the direction of new chief executive Marc Caira, Tim Hortons tries to make the chain more appealing to younger customers by introducing mobile payments.

Tim Hortons first introduced the TimmyMe app back in 2008. The rollout of the latest version of the app includes app-tapping option for BlackBerry 10 smartphones, available in participating locations around Canada, uses near field communication (NFC) to make the transaction.

Of course, NFC is not an option that is currently available on the iPhone. Scan-to-pay is a payment system that is supported on devices running iOS 6.0 and later and Android users running 4.0 and later allows users to effectively have their Tim Hortons card right on their phone, without the tap-to-pay functionality of the Blackberry app.

The feature is currently limited on iOS and Android to participating location. A list of participating Tim Hortons can be found here.



Previous versions of the app introduced features like checking your card balance, finding the nearest store location, account balances, and organized group coffee runs. There was no option for customers to pay with a smartphone so the most loyal customers had no choice but to reload their plastic card.

The company had 88 per cent market share at one point, now reduced to 77 per cent due to competition from companies like McDonalds.

In the mean time, with mobile payments being on the rise, Tim Hortons is trying to get an idea of the demographic inclined to pay using a mobile device. To get a realistic measurement, Tim Hortons will first have to expand their tap-to-pay function beyond BlackBerry.



  • Dave

    Always good to test on the device used most. Are they testing it on all 10 BB’s in use?

  • People pay with their Starbucks Card on their phone at Starbucks Location because with the reward program the company has, they actually have a big incentive to do so with free drinks after 15 transactions and exclusive rebates. With that I don’t mind having to manage the balance of my Starbucks Card because it’s the only way I have to take part in their reward program.

    At Tim Hortons, using their Tim Card or mobile payment system just seems like a big inconvenience because I don’t get any privilege for doing so. Why would I choose to manage the balance of a Tim Card over paying with cash or debit/credit card every time I go to Tim Hortons?

  • Al

    Because it’s easier to pay with a Tim card.

    What do you mean “manage the balance”? You hook the thing up to auto refill and forget about it.

  • Tim Hortons now accepts Interac Flash, Visa PayWave and MasterCard PayPass. TimCards still need to be manually swiped by the employee.

    I don’t say it’s harder to pay with a TimCard, but it’s certainly not easier than paying than with any other payment method. Gift Cards at Wal-Mart are reloadable, would you consider paying all your purchases at Wal-Mart with one of their gift cards?

  • Al

    Flash and pay wave never works for me at Tim’s or mcdonalds, or the people in front of me, it seems. The staff echo that sentiment. Swiping is faster.

    Sorry, but I don’t understand your point about Walmart. It’s an apple and oranges thing.

  • Zzz

    Paypass and pay wave work for me every time at Tim’s McDonald’s and elsewhere. I use it all the time. Pull up the card from the passbook app or swiping a physical one would be bigger inconvenience than tapping debt/credit.

  • Steve Chan

    I like the idea of carrying less cash and less cards. When will it be expanded to other areas?

  • Peter Pottinger

    I use use my paypass mastercard.

    But yay! I live in Niagara!