Mobile payments are poised to be the next big thing. Apple Pay has come on strong since its introduction, with McDonalds and Subway being early implementers however, it’s currently only available on the iPhone 6 series. With mobile payments coming into the spotlight, Google Wallet is gaining in popularity, Paypal’s app has added a mobile payment function and credit card issuers are already in the process of rolling out competing products.
Currently, mobile payment use is growing most rapidly in the quick service sector. This segment has seen a 15% increase in use in the last 12 months, as shown in the NRA 2015 Industry Forecast. With the premium that guests place on speed and convenience, it makes sense that this market segment is leading the rest in mobile payment use.
The landscape of mobile payment options is fragmented. Many popular chains including Starbucks, Domino’s and Wendy’s have successfully launched their own apps, which combine mobile payments, ordering, and rewards programs – incentivizing users to use these channels instead of their general use competitors. Independents and small chains are having to navigate this landscape, deciding whether to implement branded apps of their own or work with integrating an existing payment solution.
Mobile payments are going to become more widespread – smartwatches are new tech, and already Panera and Domino’s are working on apps for those platforms. In short, if you are in the quick service arena, now is the time to develop your strategy for mobile payments.