McDonalds will roll out contactless payment card readers to all restaurants in the UK by the end of this month.
Contactless credit cards – aka Wave and Pay cards – use Near Field Communication chips embedded on cards to mean that customers just need to wave their card near the reader to make a payment, instead of the old Chip-and-Pin way. It’s quicker, and they promise us, secure.
Coffee chains like Eat and Pret already have the devices installed in some stores, McDonalds is jumping on the bandwagon too, in the expectation that the technology will get big.
McDonald’s UK IT chief was under no delusions about the current popularity of contactless cards – saying that only a very small number of customers used them . However, he told Computing Magazine that the big advantage for retailers is that contactless payment saves time at the checkout – reducing queues.
“It’s about the customer journey. It’s quicker than the chip-and-pin transaction,” he said.
The firm doesn’t expect the service to experience heavy use initially, but to grow in time, leading to increased revenue.
“The number of cards with contactless capability among the customer base at the moment is low. But we recgonise that contactless near-field communications capability will soon be in many customers’ hands. We believe that having this technology now will help drive people into our restaurants.”
Near Field Communication chips are slated as one of the big trends of the next year and we’ll start to see them in phones and cars as well as cards. More: Mobile World Congress 2011: The five big trends from the gadget fair[Computing via NFC.com]