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Burger King pilots mobile payments program to accelerate mcommerce push

Burger King partnered with Firethorn Mobile Inc. on the mobile initiative. The initiative mirrors what Starbucks is doing in the mobile payments arena.

“The strategy is to provide retailers with a mobile payment service that does not require hardware – bar code scanners – investment at the point-of-sale,” said Chip Fishburne, senior vice president of financial services at Firethorn Mobile, Atlanta.

“This is a cloud-based payment service that leverages the strong brand of the retailer,” he said.

Burger King operates more in more than 12,500 locations in 82 countries and territories worldwide.

Firethorn Mobile is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated.

Fast food
The pilot is taking place in approximately 50 Burger King restaurants in Salt Lake City and surrounding metropolitan areas.

Via the BK Mobile Crown Card, consumers can pay for their purchases using an Android or iOS-based device by scanning a QR code placed on counters or drive-up windows of participating Burger King restaurants.

Burger King rolled out the mobile payments pilot program as it continues its goal to engage new and existing customers and make it easier for them to pay for the meals quickly and easily.

The BK Mobile Crown Card application can be found in Apple’s App Store and Google Play for free download.

Burger King’s newest effort is proof that mobile payments are gaining momentum.

Consumers are constantly on the go and mobile presents a bigger opportunity to make it easier for them to pay for goods and services.

Mobile payments
Burger King has been ramping up its mobile efforts over the past few years.

In 2009, the fast-food giant entered the mobile commerce arena by letting consumers place orders and pay from their iPhone.

Burger King teamed up with Gomobo and PointAbout for the development and design of the application (see story).

In 2010, Burger King used a mobile application as part of a multichannel effort to push its newly revamped breakfast menu.

The campaign supported what Burger King claimed to be its largest menu launch yet (see story).

“You will continue to see more pilots as retailers look to capitalize on the growing number of consumers using smartphones to shop and pay,” Mr. Fishburne said.

Final Take
Rimma Kats is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York