Canadian Tire Corp. announced its second product launched to the mobile apps market and this time the effort supports its financial services division  with the release of mPay & Play.

The app, available on Google Play and Apple’s App Store as of today, targets the 2 million Canadians carrying a Canadian Tire Options Mastercard in their wallet. It facilitates the ability to pay with your smartphone at Canadian Tire store tills, collect and spend Canadian Tire money, and earn badges that can unlock more loyalty rewards. As a bonus, there’s a sharp shooter hockey game built into the app.

The new mobile offering – a successor to the Canadian Tire Retail app launched last year, which digitized Canadian Tire money for the first time – was described as the next step in the company’s digital journey by Eugene Roman, chief technology officer at Canadian Tire. He pointed to the Digital Garage that Canadian Tire opened up at Waterloo, Ont.’s Communitech Hub in May, and a gaming lab the company has in Winnipeg.

“This is something we believe sets a whole new direction for our customers and how we interact with our customers,” he said. “Digital disruption is here, it’s been with us for a long time. We as a company and a group of dealers and operators of stores embrace that.”

Users of the mPay & Play app can earn badges by completing different activities.
Users of the mPay & Play app can earn badges by completing different activities.

The app is secured through end-to-end encryption, he said. Rather than store the customer’s credit card information on the smartphone, a one-time bar code is issued to the device when a customer is ready to pay. That bar code is then scanned by the cashier.

After use, the bar code is virtually shredded so it can’t be applied to a second transaction. While Roman didn’t detail the exact process used to issue the token for payment, he described it as a nine-step process that is completed in 0.2 seconds and invisible to the user.

“We’ve seen too many companies struggle with security around everything digital,” he says. “We’ve very sensitive to security at Canadian Tire.”

The app extends to other stores owned by Canadian Tire, SportChek and Mark’s. Those brands will be able to accept payments from the app soon, according to Cam Thompson, digital marketing manager at Canadian Tire. But this app offers more than just payments.

“It’s a way we can offer customers to interact with the financial services side of the company,” he said. “We heard loud and clear they wanted to see account information on an app. So we built our version of a banking app into this solution.”

mPay & Play is complementary to the retail app, Thomson says, and there are some linkages between the two – such as the ability to collect and spend Canadian Tire money.

The gamification aspect of the app is centered around earning badges for different activities. Your first online purchase with Canadian Tire, your first time buying gas from them, or using the pharmacy, etc. all earn you a badge. After earning 10 badges, customers can earn 10x the amount of Canadian Tire money on their next purchase at the store.

The hockey sharp shooter game is just for fun, and Thomspon says they’d like to add more games in the sporting vein. That may not be the only update in store for the up, as Thompson also didn’t rule out extending the app’s capability to pay with at more stores beyond the Canadian Tire family.

It’s on the “potential roadmap,” he said.

Canadian Tire released this video that demonstrates the app’s features:

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