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

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