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Tim Hortons is changing its loyalty program

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Picture of a sign with the logo of Tim Hortons on their main cafe for downtown Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Tim Horton's is a multinational fast food restaurant known for its coffee and donuts. It is also Canada's largest quick service restaurant chain
Picture of a sign with the logo of Tim Hortons on their main cafe for downtown Toronto. (Getty Images)

Tim Hortons is revamping its loyalty program in an effort to push more members to register, but one expert says the changes will do little to boost sales for the coffee and doughnut chain.

Starting February 26, the program will shift to a points-based system that will see members earn 10 points for each purchase and allow them to redeem a wider range of menu items. Under the current system, customers are eligible for a free coffee, tea or baked good every seventh visit to Tim Hortons.

<p class=”canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm” type=”text” content=”With approximately 7.5 million Canadians signed up for Tim Rewards, the loyalty program has been weighing on sales as restaurants are forced to give away coffee and food items for free. Jose Cil, the chief executive of Tim Hortons’ parent company Restaurant Brands International (QSR), said on Monday that the loyalty program dragged comparable sales down three per cent. Comparable sales, a key metric that measures sales at locations opened for more than a year, were down 4.6 per cent in Canada, an all-time low for Tim Hortons.” data-reactid=”26″>With approximately 7.5 million Canadians signed up for Tim Rewards, the loyalty program has been weighing on sales as restaurants are forced to give away coffee and food items for free. Jose Cil, the chief executive of Tim Hortons’ parent company Restaurant Brands International (QSR), said on Monday that the loyalty program dragged comparable sales down three per cent. Comparable sales, a key metric that measures sales at locations opened for more than a year, were down 4.6 per cent in Canada, an all-time low for Tim Hortons.

“We’ve attracted far more guests to our loyalty program, far more quickly than we had planned,” Cil told analysts.

Of those 7.5 million active loyalty members, just 25 per cent are registered online and have shared their contact information with Tim Hortons. A key part of the rewards revamp is to encourage a higher digital registration rate, which will allow the chain to offer exclusive offers to customers based on their purchase history.

Joshua Kobza, RBI’s chief corporate officer, told analysts Monday that the company’s future success will be “increasingly dependent on digital capabilities.”

“In the next phase of loyalty, the goal is really about driving two things. One is being able to open up the menu and give more options and the other thing is about moving more into a digital form of the program,” Kobza said.

“That’s going to allow us to better understand how our guests interact with our brand and use our brand… and provide more personalized benefits to those guests.”

But one loyalty program expert does not believe the changes will help Tim Hortons boost sales.

<p class=”canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm” type=”text” content=”While the new system will provide a wider range of benefits to customers, RewardsCanada.ca founder Patrick Sojka is skeptical that changes will drive additional revenue for the company.” data-reactid=”33″>While the new system will provide a wider range of benefits to customers, RewardsCanada.ca founder Patrick Sojka is skeptical that changes will drive additional revenue for the company.

“I don’t think it’s going to lead to more business at all,” Sojka said. The point-per-visit system, he said, will not encourage additional spending, as customers will earn 10 points regardless of how much money they spend.

“With loyalty programs, it’s not only about loyalty, but also trying to influence behaviour. And this isn’t going to influence behaviour because there’s no change on the earning (points) side.”

How the new program will work

Under the new system, registered loyalty members will first select a reward they want to earn points towards before they are able to redeem the item. Tim Hortons said this is to ensure that guests will have a quick and seamless in-store experience. Customers will earn 10 points per eligible purchase, which is defined as worth more than 50 cents and made 30 minutes or more after your most recent transaction. Points can be banked and saved for up to a year.

Registered members who don’t select a reward level will still be able to redeem a hot drink or baked good after seven visits. As of April, those that are not registered will have to wait every 12 visits to get a free item.

The menu items up for redemption will cost members between 50 points for hash browns, classic donuts and cookies, and 220 points for lunch sandwiches and chili.

Here’s how the point system breaks down:

  • 50 points: hash browns, classic doughnuts, specialty doughnuts, cookies
  • 70 points: brewed coffee, tea, Dream doughnuts, bagels and baked goods
  • 100 points: hot chocolate, French vanilla, iced coffee, wedges
  • 140 points: Classic Iced Capp, frozen beverages, espresso drinks, box of 10 Timbits, yogurt, oatmeal
  • 180 points: breakfast sandwiches, soups
  • 220 points: BELT, farmers breakfast sandwiches, lunch sandwiches, chili

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TD Bank CFO Ahmed to head securities unit, move seen as CEO succession play

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TD Bank Group on Thursday named Chief Financial Officer Riaz Ahmed chief executive of its securities unit and head of wholesale banking, a move some investors interpreted as a sign he will succeed CEO Bharat Masrani.

For Ahmed, 58, the change marks a return to his TD roots. He began his career at the bank in 1996 as an investment banker in the securities division, following which he served as its CFO and chief administrative officer. He has been part of TD Bank‘s executive team for nine years, and CFO for over five.

“Cross-training in the capital markets role … increases the likelihood of (Ahmed) succeeding Masrani when he retires, but I doubt it would be soon, as that would create unnecessary turnover atop TD Securities,” said Brian Madden, portfolio manager at Goodreid Investment Counsel.

“Maybe Masrani announces his retirement next year (or the following) and leaves early in 2023” or 2024.

Masrani’s compensation arrangements anticipated his retirement in 2020, TD said in its 2019 shareholders meeting proxy circular. But he was granted stock options worth C$1.9 million ($1.5 million), vesting in five years, on the condition that he remain available to serve as CEO throughout that period.

Ahmed replaces Bob Dorrance, who will retire on Sept. 1 after about 16 years at the bank, Canada’s second-biggest lender by market value said in a statement.

When asked about TD’s succession plans, a spokesperson said: “Today we are celebrating Bob Dorrance’s incredible career and accomplishments, and the appointment of top executives to critical, leadership roles.”

At a time when diversity, particularly in executive and board ranks, has come under increased scrutiny, Ahmed’s appointment as CEO would mean TD, the only one of Canada’s six biggest lenders to have a non-Caucasian at its helm, would retain that aspect.

Ahmed’s appointment comes after TD’s wholesale banking unit recorded an 8% revenue decline in the second quarter from a year ago, contributing to the bank’s overall underperformance versus some rivals.

Kelvin Tran, currently executive vice president for enterprise finance, will replace Ahmed as finance chief.

Dorrance, who has headed TD Securities since 2005, will stay on as chairman of TD Securities and serve as special adviser to Masrani.

TD shares were flat at C$87.12 on Thursday afternoon, compared with a 0.2% gain in the Toronto stock index. The shares are up 21% this year, versus a 15% gain in the benchmark.

($1 = 1.2303 Canadian dollars)

(Reporting by Nichola Saminather in Toronto; Additional reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain in BengaluruEditing by Nick Zieminski and Matthew Lewis)

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AIB agrees to life and pensions joint-venture with Canada Life

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Allied Irish Banks on Wednesday said it would form a joint venture with Canada life as it seeks to plug gaps in its life, savings and wealth products.

The joint venture will be equally owned by Canada Life, a subsidiary of Great-West Lifeco Inc.

“The move to create this joint venture is aligned with AIB’s stated ambition to complete its customerproduct suite and diversify income,” AIB said in a statement.

“Through this strategic initiative AIB intends to offer customers a range of life protection, pensions, savings and investment options enhanced by integrated digital solutions withcontinued access to our qualified financial advisors.”

The Irish lender highlighted Canada Life’s “deep experience” of the Irish bancassurance market through Irish Life Assurance, which is also a subsidiary of Great-West Lifeco.

AIB currently operates under a tied agency distribution agreement with Irish Life, and will enter into a new distribution agreement with the new joint venture company.

Chief Executive Colin Hunt highlighted the need to plug gaps in AIB’s life, savings and wealth products when he set out the bank’s medium-term targets last December.

AIB expects its equity investment in the joint venture will be around 90 million euros ($107.51 million), equating to around 10bps of CET1.($1 = 0.8372 euros)

(Reporting by Graham Fahy;Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)

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Interac: Canada’s Latest Payment Solution Phenomenon

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Few can argue that digital payment methods aren’t central to modern-day society. In recent times, increasing numbers of payment solutions have come to the forefront, offering consumers more choice regarding their transaction preferences. Canada, in particular, has embraced a wide-ranging selection of secure, forward-thinking options. Of those available throughout the country, Interac has piqued the interests of local consumers the most. So, let’s look at why this payment solution is an especially popular option throughout Canada. 

Usable Across Various Markets 

It speaks volumes about Interac’s versatility in that it’s usable across a variety of different industries. Since being founded in 1984, the Canadian interbank network has become integral to numerous markets, including local air travel. Air Canada, which has been operating since 1937, has expanded their accepted payment methods, and now passengers can pay for their flights using Interac. According to the airline’s official website, the Interac Online service lets consumers pay for their tickets via the internet directly from their bank account. 

Not only that, but Interac is also available at Walmart. In November 2020, the two organizations partnered together to expand in-store and online payment options. Walmart has adapted well to the digital trend, with American Banker reporting that they’ve opened Interac Flash sale points throughout their stores. 


Source: Unsplash

Aside from the above, Interac has also taken the digital world by storm. Following its rapid rise to prominence, the solution has also altered the online casino industry, with platforms like Genesis Casino now accepting the transaction type. The provider, which features Interac Canadian casino options, uses the popular payment method to enhance transaction speeds of deposits and withdrawals, as well as security. Players can use Interac Online and Interac e-Transfer to make deposits or withdrawals from their desktops or mobiles as the platform is fully optimized. 

A Reflection of Modern-Day Society 

In recent times, Interac recorded a 55 percent increase in transactions between April and August 2020 compared to the same period the previous year, as per BNN Bloomberg. These figures somewhat reflect the current state of e-Commerce and modern consumerism. Following the rise of Interac and other payment methods, it’s now less troublesome for consumers to complete in-store and online purchases. 


Source: PxHere

There’s an ever-growing perception that land-based businesses need to adapt within the digital era and accept forward-thinking payment methods. According to Cision, Interac is of utmost importance to the Canadian economy, and a year-on-year increase in Interac Debit payments of 333 percent reflects that. Not only that, but Interac e-Transfer payments are growing at 52 percent each year. This Interac-oriented trend appears unlikely to fade over the coming years, with the network being selected as the country’s provider for a new real-time payment system, as per Lexology. 

Consumer Habits are Changing 

There can be no doubt that consumerism has changed drastically over the past decade. The popularity of Interac suggests that a cashless future may be on the horizon, with increasing numbers of shoppers enjoying the security of online payment methods. While it’s currently unclear if that will happen, Interac appears to be prevalent for the long run.

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