BC Ferries is ‘trialling’ the use of debit cards as a form on payment onboard ‘select vessels’ after 58 years in business. (Contributed)

BC Ferries is ‘trialling’ the use of debit cards as a form on payment onboard ‘select vessels’ after 58 years in business. (Contributed)

BC Ferries begins taking debit in two-month pilot project

Company is giving customers option to use Interac on two-month trial on select vessels

Today might be the day the government made cannabis legal, but a much more exciting development at BC Ferries has made a journey onboard the vessels smoothing sailing.

RELATED: Behind the wheel of a B.C. Ferries ferry

After 58 years in business, and countless disgruntled customers, BC Ferries is now accepting Interac payments on some ferries.

“I think people are like ‘hey it’s about time,’” says Darin Guenette, BC Ferries public affairs manager.

A soft launch on the Spirit of British Columbia Wednesday meant customers boarded to find signs on Moneris terminals saying the company is “trialling the use of debit cards on board select vessels” on the Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay routes for a period of two months.

Previously, ticket agents at ferry terminals and onboard purchases were only available via credit card or cash. The company has said it did not enable debit use because the technology was too slow and would lead to sailing delays.

“You get in between the Gulf Islands and there are some dead spots,” Guenette explains, of the connectivity issues.

B.C. BUDGET: Fare freeze, free travel for seniors on BC Ferries

BC Ferries installed self-serve kiosks in the four major ferry terminals – Tsawwassen, Swartz Bay, Horsehoe Bay, Departure Bay and Duke Point – giving walk-on passengers the option to pay with debit.

“If it turns out the network connectivity is not there, we’ll have to stop and assess and fix,” Guenette says.

And, don’t worry – the technology required to provide debit service won’t run on wi fi or impact the current wi fi BC Ferries makes available during sailings.

“We’d like to see it work for customers,” Guenette says. “The more options the better.”


@kristyn_anthony
kristyn.anthony@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BCFerries

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Head-on collision Jan. 14 claims one life west of Fort St. James

Jenkins said alcohol, as well as road surface conditions, have been ruled out as factors

Nechako River, Vanderhoof, B.C. (Aman Parhar/Omineca Express)
Officials keeping close tabs on Nechako River after ice jam causes area flooding

District of Vanderhoof Mayor Gerry Thiessen, though, said water levels have gone down, for now

Vanderhoof home sees water from the Nechako move up into the yard, and within hours, water was seen up to the deck. Ken Young, Vanderhoof councillor posted this photo on social media.
Mayor concerned about ice jams in the Nechako river

“We have never lived with a frozen river at this magnitude during our time in council,” mayor said.

Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry head for the press theatre at the B.C. legislature for an update on COVID-19, Jan. 7, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 spread steady with 509 new cases Friday

Hospitalized and critical care cases decline, nine deaths

Seasonal influenza vaccine is administered starting each fall in B.C. and around the world. (Langley Advance Times)
After 30,000 tests, influenza virually nowhere to be found in B.C.

COVID-19 precautions have eliminated seasonal infection

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens to a question during a news conference outside Rideau cottage in Ottawa, Friday, January 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau says Canada’s COVID vaccine plan on track despite Pfizer cutting back deliveries

Canadian officials say country will still likely receive four million doses by the end of March

Jobs Minister Ravi Kahlon shared a handwritten note his son received on Jan. 13, 2021. (Ravi Kahlon/Twitter)
Proud dad moment: B.C. minister’s son, 10, receives handwritten note for act of kindness

North Delta MLA took to Twitter to share a letter his son received from a new kid at school

Lilly and Poppy, two cats owned by Kalmar Cat Hotel ownder Donna Goodenough, both have cerebellAr hypoplasia, a genetic neurological condition that affects their ability to control their muscles and bones. Photo by Alistair Taylor – Campbell River Mirror
VIDEO: Wobbly Cats a riot of flailing legs and paws but bundles of love and joy to their owner

Woman urges others to not fear adopting cats with disabilities

Chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa on Friday, Jan. 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada’s top doctor says to avoid non-essential travel as B.C. explores legal options

Premier John Horgan says he is seeking legal advice on whether it can limit interprovincial travel

Martin Luther King Jr. addresses the crowd during the march on Washington, D.C., in August of 1963. Courtesy photo
Government reinforces importance of anti-racism act on Black Shirt Day

B.C. Ministers say education “a powerful tool” in the fight for equity and equality

Black Press media file
Port McNeill driver tells police he thought the pandemic meant no breathalyzers

Suspect facing criminal charges after breathalyzer readings in excess of 3.5 times the legal limit

Forestry companies in B.C. agree to abide by the cedar protocols based on traditional laws of the First Nation members of the Nanwakolas Council. (Photo courtesy, Nanwakolas Council)
Landmark deal sees B.C. forest firms treat big cedars like a First Nation would

Western Forest Products, Interfor among companies to adapt declaration drafted by Nanwakolas Council

Most Read