Tim Hortons gets Visa payWave to speed lines

Nov 19, 2012 | Biz/Tech

Customers can now pay with both MasterCard and Visa at select stores across Canada.

PayWave technology can shorten the time it takes to complete financial transactions

By Katherine Ward

The lineup to get a morning coffee might start moving quicker at Tim Hortons these days.

The company announced Monday it will be introducing Visa payWave technology at participating locations across Canada.

According to the press release, the technology allows cardholders to simply wave theirĀ  card in front of a specific terminal, and the transaction is complete. It is similar to MasterCard’s PayPass system. The method is referred to as ‘contactless payment.’

“Visa payWave makes the checkout experience quicker and easier, while paving the way for upcoming innovations like mobile payments,” Sue Whitney, head of new products for Visa Canada, said in a press release.

Tim Hortons customers were able to use their Visa chip cards since early 2012. It is not yet determined if the North campus outlet will bet payWave technology.

“There is no doubt that credit cards make things easier,” Danny Pereira, manager at the Tim Hortons at Humber’s North campus, told Humber News. “Most of our students carry some kind of card with them, no one carries cash on them anymore.”

However, even with MasterCard’s PayPass contactless payment system in place, Pereira has observed some disadvantages in using plastic.

Students often have to wait more than 10 to 15 minutes to get through the Tim Horton’s line at Humber’s North campus.

“Sometimes the transaction just won’t go through, or the Internet will go down and this slows down everything,” Pereira said. “Cash is still the fastest way to move a line because people pay, get their change, and that’s it.”

Some might wonder just how secure these types of transactions are. However, financial officials have positive feedback for the contactless payment procedures.

“These kinds of systems are very safe,” Maura Drew-Lytle, spokesperson for the Canadian Bankers Association, told Humber News. “The cards can only be used in close range, and the information has sophisticated encryption that expires after each use.”

Still, she said it is important to be aware and knowledgeable about credit card fraud, and how banks can help in such situations.

“Most of these types of payments come with zero liability safeguards,” Drew-Lytle said. “This means if there is some fraudulent activity in your account, you will get your money back from the bank.”