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Subway catches up with mobile ordering blitz via PayPal collaboration

Made-to-order sandwich chain Subway Restaurants is playing catch-up to other quick service marketers via a collaboration with PayPal to garnish its mobile offerings with a new application for placing and paying for orders that could culminate in a revenue uptick.

PayPal, which recently split from eBay, will be accepted as a payment method within Subway’s app and online ordering site later this year. The quick service chain is also implementing remote ordering capabilities for mobile users in California who prefer to place orders while on-the-go and pick up their meals without having to wait in long lines during peak hours.

“In today’s digital lifestyle, customers come to expect a personal, digital experience from their favorite brands,” said Ken Moy, director of payments and emerging commerce at Subway, Milford, CT. “For Subway, we see digital as a natural extension to the healthy lifestyle customers come to expect from their favorite sandwich shop.”

Additional payment options
Subway’s decision to tap the PayPal platform for its mobile commerce abilities suggests that the service will still experience plenty of traction following its split with eBay. PayPal will have its official integration with Subway occur in late 2015 in more than 27,000 locations across the United States.

Subway customers with PayPal accounts may use the platform to pay for their orders by selecting the appropriate button in the app or on the site to complete the transaction.

The platform’s OneTouch feature will enable users to pay with a single click that does not require them to sign-in with their usernames and passwords for six months after an initial log-in.

More QSR chains are looking into adding these types of functionalities into their apps, as consumers begin to demand mobile ordering options.

“At Subway, we aim to make it as simple, convenient and fast as possible for our customers to get their favorite handcrafted sandwich from their favorite local store,” Mr. Moy said. “Our and mobile app are just one part of our overall efforts to achieve this.”

If consumers wish to pick up a Subway sandwich or salad during a lunch break or busy dining period, they can customize their order on mobile and pay for the items directly on their smartphones, helping them circumvent long lines when they arrive at a bricks-and-mortar location to retrieve the meal.

On-the-go ordering
The revamped Subway app supports remote ordering functions, as does the site. Guests may choose the nearest restaurant, pick a menu item and customize it to their liking and place the order with the tap of a button.

This feature may also aid in driving loyalty among frequent consumers.

“People who use the Subway app will also have the ability to earn their loyalty points and rewards directly within the app,” said Chris Gardner, co-founder of Paydiant, Newton, MA. “We believe that fast and seamless payments make for positive customer experiences.

“We know from our previous experience with retailers that enabling a one click checkout from One Touch boosts sales conversions and builds customer loyalty,” he said. “Consumers want to rack up and view rewards with little effort on their end.

“With the collaboration between Subway, PayPal and Paydiant, we’re able to build all of this into the app for an intuitive and fun customer experience.”

Subway is also wrapping up customer loyalty by urging guests to opt-in to Wi-Fi networks to receive free items and additional customized rewards, suggesting that Wi-Fi monetization is on the rise for food and beverage marketers (see story).

“We see our Web and mobile efforts as an extension of our heritage of providing customers with what they want: great meals exactly as they like them,” Subway’s Mr. Moy said. “Now consumers can order their favorite made-to-order sandwiches and salads at home or on-the-go.”

Final Take
Alex Samuely is an editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York