Wendy’s Pilots Mobile Payment at 88 Stores in Western U.S. (May 7, 2013)
May 7, 2013
Wendy’s is the latest quick-serve restaurant to pilot mobile payments by adding a feature to its mobile app. The pilot, involving 88 Wendy’s locations in Oregon, Washington, Texas and New Mexico, enables consumers that have linked a credit card or Wendy’s gift card to the app to pay for their orders at Wendy’s registers with their smartphones using a one-time code the app generates. Participating consumers place their orders at the register and alert the cashier they are using their smartphone to pay, then click on the “Payments” tab in the app to receive a six-digit code they give to the cashier to complete the transaction. The code expires within five minutes for security reasons.
Consumers using the Wendy’s app, available on iOS and Android smartphones, may use previously linked cards to reload value to their mobile payment account, view recent transactions or set up the app to automatically reload value. Participating consumers may also receive rewards for loading value to their accounts, such as a small Frosty. The Wendy’s Company, based in Dublin, Ohio, so far has rolled out the app in stores surrounding Portland, Ore., Vancouver, Wash., Austin, Texas, and Albuquerque, N.M.
Wendy’s is only the latest in a parade of fast-food operators experimenting with mobile payments. Yum! Brands Inc.’s KFC last month launched a QR code-based mobile payment pilot near London. Starbucks Corp., Burger King Corp., Dunkin’ Brands and McDonald’s Corp. have also launched mobile payment apps or pilots within the last year.
The form mobile payments are taking is less relevant than the fact that a growing number of major corporations are experimenting with the concept, Todd Ablowitz, president of Double Diamond Consulting Group, tells Paybefore. “Everybody feels they need to be involved in mobile payments in one shape or form. Whether it’s one-time codes, QR codes, NFC or some other approach, these are early days and tests like these will soon start to ferret out what works best.”