OAK BROOK, Ill., Aug. 18 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- McDonald's® today announced an agreement to accept MasterCard® PayPass™, a new "contactless" payment option utilizing radio frequency technology at select McDonald's restaurants in the U.S. Participating McDonald's restaurants in Dallas and the New York metropolitan area will implement MasterCard PayPass later this year, with additional locations to be added in 2005. MasterCard PayPass cardholders can make purchases at participating McDonald's restaurants without swiping their card through a traditional card- reader -- PayPass cardholders tap or wave the card on or near a specially equipped terminal that utilizes a radio frequency (RF) chip to complete a payment transaction. McDonald's will have Verifone Omni 7000 card-readers installed to accept the new MasterCard PayPass card. The PayPass payment option is an expansion of McDonald's partnership with MasterCard in the U.S., announced earlier this year. "McDonald's is always looking for new and innovative ways to use technology to improve customer service in our restaurants," said Jim Sappington, vice president of information technology, McDonald's U.S.A. "The convenience of MasterCard PayPass will help our customers get their Big Macs, Premium Salads and Happy Meals even faster." McDonald's currently accepts cashless payment options at more than 4,500 restaurants in the United States and expects to increase up to 8,000 by the end of 2004. McDonald's has more than 13,500 restaurants in the U.S. "In today's fast-paced world, people count on the convenience and utility of electronic payment options. MasterCard PayPass simplifies the customer experience," said Fred P. Gore, senior vice president, North America Acceptance, MasterCard International. "We're thrilled to be working with McDonald's to offer a place for MasterCard cardholders to use the latest payment innovation at their favorite restaurant." We tried out the PayPass product in the field at a local McDonald's restaurant in Orlando Florida. The process was very fluid and hassle free. We liked the ease of the process, though you have to have the MasterCard PayPass version we expect it to be a short time to develop this following. We compare this to the fast expansion of debit in the U.S. to what is now the controlling percentage of cashless payment usage.
Field Test by QSRweb.com QSRweb.com went to the field to test and compare this service to an insertion credit card reader. We performed the comparison in drive-thru with several customers that were using the PayPass in the Orlando, Florida area. We found that there was no comparison, "The card insertion is really a big thing" stated one consumer using the McDonald's PayPass unit that was custom designed by VivoTech. Since drive-thru makes for difficult access, the use of an insertion required device could cause some hang-ups in an area where speed is the key. Even when parked, in certain vehicles getting a card swipe in to a small target area such as a card slide was difficult. We tested over 100 cars and over half of the vehicles tested had difficulty getting a card in the reader. only 8% had problems getting the PayPass Card to read quickly, they were mostly extreme SUV's. The proximity payment solution seems to be the consumer choice for ease of use in drive-thru or any vehicle access point for cashless payment options. Cashless is clearly on it's way into mainstream QSR, the way it will be used is yet to be seen. "Since consumers are the ones that usually determine how technology is developed. If it does not work easily, they just won't use it. But what is worse for retailers is that the consumer may choose to go some where else, where ease of use was taken into consideration." stated John Perry a leading consultant in retail tracking and consumer use technology for retail.
About McDonald'sMcDonald's (NYSE:MCD) is the world's leading foodservice retailer with more than 30,000 local restaurants, serving nearly 47 million people each day in over 100 countries. More than 70 percent of McDonald's restaurants around the world are owned and operated by independent, local businessmen and women. About MasterCard InternationalMasterCard International is a leading global payments solutions company that provides a broad variety of innovative services in support of our global members' credit, deposit access, electronic cash, business-to-business and related payment programs. MasterCard International manages a family of well- known, widely accepted payment cards brands including MasterCard®, Maestro® and Cirrus® and serves financial institutions, consumers and businesses in over 210 countries and territories. The MasterCard award- winning Priceless® advertising campaign is now seen in 98 countries and in 46 languages, giving the MasterCard brand a truly global reach and scope. For more information go to http://www.mastercardinternational.com/.