Fast Food May Hold the Key to the Mobile Payment Revolution

by Matt Klassen on August 28, 2015

For several years the tech world has collectively wondered what it would take to really fuel the launch of the mobile payment revolution. Like any other consumer technology, mobile payments really won’t take off until it’s widely available, easy to use, and doesn’t alienate us from the payment solutions we’re all used to, but mobile payments has seemingly needed more to grease the wheels of mass adoption.

We all thought Apple’s entry into the mobile payment arena might be the jolt the burgeoning technology needed, particularly when it comes on an Apple branded watch, but that has yet to reap any significant rewards. Then we thought Google’s revised Android Pay system may finally be the answer, but many questions still remain.

But then a story came across my desk this week and it was a Eureka moment for my take on the mobile payment revolution. What this radical reformation of financial transactions has needed has not been the right technology, or the right tech companies, or a unified platform, but adoption from a key industry partner: Fast Food.

In a leaked confidential internal memo, it seems McDonald’s restaurant is poised to join the mobile payment revolution, quietly preparing its team for the imminent adoption of Android Pay, Android Police revealed this week. Now granted I’m sceptical that McDonald’s will abide by this timetable and actually unveil Android Pay before the end of today, the real story here is I truly believe McDonald’s and other fast food vendors truly hold the keys to unlocking mass adoption of mobile payment.

You see, what other companies like Starbucks or Wal-Mart or really anyone else lacks is that truly Everyman appeal, as rich and poor across America all likely dine (at one time or another) at the Golden Arches, and it is that ubiquitous nature of the franchise that will contribute to the adoption of this new technology.

Not only that, though, but the entire instant gratification philosophy of Fast Food provides the perfect environment for introducing the general public to a new, faster, more convenient way to pay, as the entire Fast Food industry is built on that exact same foundation. People really only go to McDonald’s and other such outlets because they want food (or a reasonable facsimile)…fast. It will go along way for mobile payments when people realize they can get that Big Mac just a little bit faster by swiping their phone to pay.

All that said, Google itself has yet to announce its plans to launch Android Pay, aside from a vague promise of sometime “later this year.” It could very well be that the leaked McDonald’s memo is outdated, referring to an Android Pay release schedule that no longer exists.

Of course McDonald’s is one of the partners Google mentioned specifically, and I have to say that along with other notable partner, Subway, the fast food industry will likely the tipping point in this long awaited revolution, offering customers the chance to get instant gratification just that much more instantaneously, and while that doesn’t sound like much, I would bet it’s all the general public need to adopt mobile payments.

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Written by: Matt Klassen. Follow by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

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