Tim Hortons CIBC Double Double Visa card is more about collecting personal data than giving free coffee

When Tim Hortons unveiled its 5-year strategic plan a few months ago it declared a desire to embrace technology. From the official press release, execs said the intention is to become “one of the industry’s most consumer-centric companies, enabling us to aggregate guest insights and connect and transact with them in new and innovative ways.”

Timmies has already its popular re-loadable TimCard available and launched several mobile apps that allow addicts to pay for their daily fix via their smartphone. In addition, the Oakville-based company recently rolled out the TimTV initiative, and are currently testing new point-of-sale terminals. Heck, they’ve even installed electric vehicle charging stations in several provinces.

One major step forward for Tim Hortons was the recent launch of the co-branded Tim Hortons CIBC “Double Double” credit and loyalty card. This reportedly is the “first-of-its-kind technology” in Canada and offers loyal enthusiasts the option to select between the Visa credit card, or immediately redeem for rewards at Tim Hortons. It’s actually a great idea and this dual-technology has been in the States for a few years.

The no-fee Double Double card, which I gladly am using, is in place to gain more than our loyalty and giving out free Timmies beverages or baked goods. At the very core is the intent to complete its second phase of its technology vision by compiling our transaction history to market to us “in new and innovative ways.”

Backing all this fine technology is access to a boatload of customer data. It seems with every swipe or press of the button, both CIBC and Tim Hortons will know a bit more about our purchasing habits — everything about your order from what you buy, when and where you buy, what time you buy, and how many times you buy.

Very intense stuff, but not too shocking as this has been around a while. It’s just that we’re now more sensitive about the data that’s being shared, and more specifically who sees our habits.

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When one signs up for the Tim Hortons CIBC Double Double card, which is a mouthful to say, you immediately agree to the fine print terms and conditions. For those interested, here is what CIBC states (bold is my highlight):

You consent to the collection, use and sharing of your personal information as described in CIBC’s privacy policy Your Privacy is Protected. This includes collecting, during the course of your relationship with Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (“CIBC”, “we” or “us”), information about you from, and sharing it with, the CIBC Group, credit bureaus, government institutions or registries, regulators and self-regulatory organizations, other financial institutions, applicable program partners, any references you give us, and other such parties as may reasonably be required for the purposes of: (i) identifying you; (ii) qualifying you for products and services; (iii) verifying information you give us; (iv) protecting you and CIBC from fraud and errors; (v) facilitating tax and other reporting; (vi) complying with legal, regulatory and self-regulatory obligations; or (vii) telling you about other products and services of the CIBC Group or promoting any applicable CIBC partner program including marketing any services or products of program partners or other third parties. If you wish to withdraw your consent to (vii) you may contact CIBC at 1 800 465 CIBC (2422) at any time.”

In addition, Tim Hortons says on its privacy page that “Tim Hortons will not disclose, trade, rent, sell or otherwise transfer personal information for purposes other than as those set our herein, except with an Individual’s consent or as required or permitted by law.”

This co-branded loyalty and credit card is free to use and does offer rewards, but also comes at a cost – our personal info and habits.

About Ian Hardy

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I'm obsessed with Tim Hortons. It runs through my veins and I've probably spent enough money downing Steeped Tea's that I could have purchased my own franchise.