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Chick-fil-A heats up mobile sales with Apple Pay integration

Chick-fil-A is playing catch-up to the slew of quick service restaurant chains incorporating Apple Pay into their mobile applications by gradually rolling out the payment platform’s capabilities to locations nationwide.

Apple Pay, which will be available in addition to Chick-fil-A’s own mobile payment technology, is expected to reach all of the brand’s stores by late 2016. The fast-food marketer sought to incorporate Apple Pay into its app in a bid to appeal to customers concerned about the security of digital payments, a strategy that could result in more mobile sales being made this year.

“Apple Pay and its tokenization security feature offers forward-looking retailers and quick service restaurants a way to get out ahead of the mobile wallet curve,” said Wilson Kerr, vice president of business development and sales at Unbound Commerce, Boston. “Even more importantly, Apple Pay is more secure than credit card payments and is tailor-made for smaller purchases.

“Starbucks has written the book on the power of the mobile wallet and I would imagine that Chick-fil-A is looking to emulate its success, especially because of repeat purchases by loyal customers.”

Frying up sales
Chick-fil-A app users will steadily be able to pay for orders using Apple Pay, which enables consumers to take advantage of security features, as well as added convenience. When individuals add their credit or debit cards into the mobile payment platform, Apple Pay does not store the card numbers on the smartphone.

Instead, it assigns each card a unique device account number, which is later encrypted and safely stored on consumers’ personal devices. Transactions are authorized via a one-time dynamic security code, making Apple Pay the ideal technology for customers wanting to try mobile payments but feeling wary about the process.

Chick-fil-A claims it is focusing on tapping technology that makes it easier for guests to interact with its restaurants. The convenience of using Apple Pay is arguably one of the most enticing usage factors for consumers, especially those who are prone to having cravings for Chick-fil-A meals.

Customers interested in picking up an order from Chick-fil-A during peak dining hours can circumvent long lines at the cashier and complete the transaction with a few taps of Apple Pay instead. This could ensure that all impulse purchases have a high likelihood of getting made, since consumers will have less time to second-guess their decisions.

Apple Pay can be accessed on the Apple Watch, as well as iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus devices.

Guests are encouraged to contact their nearby Chick-fil-A restaurant to determine if Apple Pay is available at that location.

Stacking up mobile
Chick-fil-A also allows iOS users to leverage its own mobile order and payment technology, available within its app. Customers may input their desired orders and customize the meals to their liking, and input their credit card information into the appropriate fields.

Then, the app will populate a QR code that may be scanned by a cashier.

Consumers may also input gift card balances into the app to securely store funds and prevent the possibility of misplacing the physical card.

Additionally, Chick-fil-A modernized its app several weeks ago in an attempt to stay competitive in the crowded mobile-ordering field by integrating 3D Touch capabilities (see story).

Meanwhile, over the summer, Chick-fil-A was one of the brands leveraging Instagram’s Ads API to distribute relevance-driven campaigns and tap the program’s retargeting capabilities, as well as the ability to edit live ads in bulk (see story).

Ultimately, quick service restaurants that rapidly adopt mobile payment options are well-poised to see an uptick in customer satisfaction and sales.

“Apple Pay is already linked to the credit card on file in iTunes, so it is only a matter of time before mass adoption takes off,” Mr. Kerr said. “As consumers become more willing to use their phones to pay for things, brands that are testing and learning will have a big leg up and be in an excellent position to reap the rewards.”