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Burger King is ready to dive head first into the mobile payments space. According to a new report from Bloomberg, the QSR giant will roll out its new payment app to its more than 7,000 U.S. locations "in a few months."
The app, developed by Tillster Inc., will include the ability to pre-order for faster in-store pickup, and will also provide coupons and nutritional information. To pay, customers load value onto a virtual card within the app, the story said.
A closed loop, virtual card platform is also used by Dunkin' Donuts, which introduced its app in August 2012.
Other QSRs have also introduced a mobile payment application, including Jersey Mike's, Tim Hortons and Subway.
Burger rival McDonald's is testing the platform in Salt Lake City and Austin, Texas, markets, while Wendy's just announced its partnership with Merchant Customer Exchange, which, according to a release, "is a group of leading merchants dedicated to improving the shopping experience by offering consumers a widely-accepted, customer-focused and secure mobile commerce platform."
Burger King began testing a mobile commerce solution in June 2012 with Firethorn Mobile Inc., also in the Salt Lake City market.
The brand's BK Delivers business began accepting free digital wallet MasterPass in May 2013.
According to Andrew Morris, CEO of Atlanta-based mobile commerce consulting firm Morris Advisors, there are plenty of good reasons for QSRs to jump into the mobile payments space.
"I do think QSRs will be ahead of the curve on this, and some of that is (frequent-use) demographics, some of it is use cases; you can order ahead, pay, bypass the line, etc. This works well for speed and for loyalty," he said.
Plus, Starbucks has had a good run of the platform thus far, which has inspired others to jump on board.
"One billion dollars in revenues from mobile payments at Starbucks is pretty significant. It's a really big part of the business now," Morris said. "Payment is becoming part of the customer experience and brands are quickly figuring that out. But it's not just payments; it's also loyalty. All of this is part of a marketing platform."
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