KFC Tests Mobile Payment App in U.K. (April 9, 2013)
Yum! Brands Inc.’s KFC is the latest fast-food giant to pilot a mobile payment app, launching its first such effort near London. Consumers will be able use their smartphones to place orders and pay ahead of time, then pick up their food upon arrival at the store. KFC joins Starbucks Corp., Burger King Corp., Dunkin’ Brands and McDonald’s Corp. in what is becoming a growing movement for fast-food operators adopting mobile apps to increase efficiency and consumer convenience. KFC plans to equip 10 of its U.K. stores with its KFC Fast Track mobile ordering and payment system in the pilot’s first phase of using technology from Airtag Inc., a mobile payment technology firm with offices in New York and Paris, the companies said. KFC’s mobile app initially is available for iPhone users and a Web browser-based app is in development for other smartphone types so customers may “order, pay for and collect food faster than ever before,” said Paul Borrett, KFC’s IT director for the U.K. and Ireland.
Customers using KFC Fast Track may download the app and use its menu to place an order, then pay using a credit card, an Airtag spokesperson tells Paybefore. After placing their order, customers receive a QR code and order-confirmation number to pick up their food at the selected location. Customers may place their orders any time, using the app to “check in” when they arrive at the store where they may pick up their food from a designated express line for mobile-app orders. Airtag’s white-label app can be adapted to include other payment forms such as debit and prepaid cards, and a “growing” number of fast-food chains are interested in similar apps, Jérémie Leroyer, Airtag’s CEO, tells Paybefore. McDonald’s last year began piloting a mobile app in France with technology from Airtag called “GoMcDo” that uses PayPal to process payments and has been expanded from 30 to 60 locations, according to the Airtag spokesperson.