Readers of the Canadian POS Corporation Blog are well aware of the many benefits that are available to merchants when they accept credit cards and debit cards as methods of payment. Business owners from all over Canada have been reaping these benefits for many years. In many of our blogs, we’ve detailed experiences had by customers who have been forced to pay cash when they would have preferred to use plastic.
Cash-only businesses are often seen as “archaic” or “behind the times” and often lose customers when they don’t offer the option of paying with credit or debit. Interestingly enough, there are still some “big named” companies who haven’t yet gotten on board. Until now, that is. According to GreedyRates.ca, the Toronto Transit Commission is FINALLY accepting payment via credit and debit cards!
“Finally! Torontonians will soon be able purchase subway fares with their credit or debit cards,” reads the website, “Beginning Jan. 1, 2015, TTC riders can use their credit or debit cards to buy ten or more single fares or any multi-fare pass at all 69 subway stations throughout the network.” Apparently, this has a little something to do with Toronto’s new mayor, John Tory and his opinion of the city’s “outdated cash-only system.”
“In a global city like Toronto, the idea that most transactions would have to take place with cash is almost prehistoric,” the site quotes Tory as saying, “It’s 2014, it’s Toronto, and I think people have the right to expect better than that.” Not only will TTC’s new acceptance of plastic make life a lot easier for riders, but it will save the commission a lot of money that is generally spent on handling cash that moves through the system in the coming years.
With the announcement of the TTC’s latest big move towards plastic acceptance, The National Post couldn’t help but report today that the decision places the commission “bizarrely, embarrassingly behind.” “I’m almost entirely cashless on a day-to-day basis,” reports Matt Gurney, “Virtually the only time I ever go to a bank machine to withdraw hard cash, in fact, is when I need to buy more TTC tokens.”
“It’s a small thing, I know, but it has perfectly symbolized the weird technological backwardness and inflexible corporate culture of the TTC for my whole life,” he continues. As 2015 approaches, it has become increasingly obvious that a company that does not accept credit and debit is considered to be behind the times and potentially obsolete in today’s business world. For some reason, the TTC has taken quite some time to step into the modern era.
Gurney’s The National Post counterpart Chris Selley doesn’t think that the TTC’s move towards plastic acceptance is a “small thing” at all. In his opinion, this is a move that should have been made many moons ago. “Plunk me down in any major city in the developed world, and I will sashay clueless into the transit system in supreme confidence I won’t need cash,” writes Selley, “This has been basic, bare-minimum transit infrastructure for at least 10 years.”
So what prompted the change now? GreedyRates.ca explains that “aside from Toronto’s status as an international city, the centre of Canada’s banking industry and a heavily used public transit system, the upcoming Pan-Am Games were oddly cited as additional incentive to implement credit card acceptance in the subway network. Now Torontonians can finally get rewarded for using the subway with their rewards credit cards!”