Tim Hortons is Canadian-born, much like myself, and it offers up affordable coffee and donuts, much unlike myself. The company has been making inroads in the U.S. market over the past few years, and today it’s introducing a feature that’s popular at major U.S. competitor Starbucks: mobile payments. The updated Tim Hortons TimmyMe app now lets you pay with a barcode from your phone with pre-loaded credit, and also supports Passbook on iPhone.
The payment tech is available on iOS, Android and BlackBerry through the app itself, however, meaning just about anyone with a mobile device can use it to buy decent coffee and above average donuts and baked goods. This is a big move for a company that was a longtime holdout against either debit or credit-based purchases only a few years ago.
Still, I remain conflicted about the Modernization of Timmies. Some of my fondest memories about Tim Hortons include being bribed to get up for hockey practice at 6 AM (which I hate, and which makes me a Canadian societal outcast) with a dozen donuts, and also being allowed “only” three donuts out of a case of twelve which we’d split between me, my brother, my sister and my parents as a weekly treat. But we couldn’t pay with our phones for those coveted, sugary morsels – we had to use crude metal discs and flimsy paper, or else trade for the hides of fresh-trapped caribou.
I may never understand fully the modern mania for new-fangled electro-automatic machinations, but I suppose this will make it easier to buy Timbits individually, so go forth and enjoy.