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Taco Bell adds Visa Checkout to grab all smartphone owners’ orders

Fast food chain Taco Bell and books retailer Barnes & Noble College are among the 33 new merchants that have integrated with mobile-optimized checkout service Visa Checkout, proving that the payments platform sector continues to become more saturated and cutthroat.

Visa Checkout’s appeal stems from the fact that it does not alienate iOS or Android device users, and accepts a one-step checkout process from any mobile user who has preloaded his or her credit card information into the system. Taco Bell’s integration with the platform suggests that the brand is ramping up to continue its upward trajectory in mobile ordering and payment options.

“Visa Checkout is optimized for mobile and the experience is easy, seamless and secure,” said Chris Curtin, chief marketing officer and chief digital and innovation officer at Visa, Foster City, CA. “With Visa Checkout, consumers can check out with a single sign-in with just a few clicks without filling out endless form fields.

“Consumers can rely on the trust they have with Visa, as the product ultimately allows them to bring the Visa card they prefer to use in the physical world—no matter what device they are using,” he said.

Gaining new partners
Visa Checkout has now added 33 new members to its partner roster as it aims to expand its service in a bid to offer more consumers the ability to seamlessly buy any item or service on mobile.

Taco Bell is adding the feature to its online and mobile ordering platform, which enables customers to place an order via smartphone or desktop, pay for the meal and pick it up at a bricks-and-mortar location without having to wait in line.

The Mexican fast food chain is aiming to widen its mobile ordering and delivery functionalities by lending more support to a variety of payment options, so as to not alienate customers on different devices.

Visa Checkout is iOS and Android-friendly, and may bridge the gap between the restaurant and consumers who cannot pay via Apple Pay or Android Pay.

Additionally, Taco Bell is partnering with courier service DoorDash to deliver its products to customers in California and Dallas who place orders via the DoorDash mobile application or site (see story).

Targeting college students
Meanwhile, Barnes & Noble College is opting to leverage the checkout service as it serves up more payment tools for mobile-savvy students.

The brand believes the new partnership will make the purchasing process for textbooks easier for consumers, and will allow them to save more through discounts on back-to-school products.

Consumers belonging to the millennial demographic have come to expect a wide variety of payment choices from the brands they frequently patronize. If a marketer does not offer mobile-optimized payment options, a customer may become deterred from buying a product if the process takes too long.

Visa Checkout’s new United States-based merchant partners also include Best Buy, LivingSocial, Shiseido, Under Armour and zulily, among others.

The service has experienced a surge of activity in the past several months, with the monthly enrollment rate growing approximately 30 percent over June and July of this year. As other payments platforms such as Samsung Pay and Android Pay join the fray this fall, Visa may see some initial competition for new merchant team-ups as well as bids for new customers.

However, Visa Checkout’s ability to be used by all device owners certainly throws some odds in its favor.

Additionally, the technology company is branching out to issuers around the world, including those in China and the United Arab Emirates. As demand for overseas products continues to skyrocket, Visa now counts China Merchants Bank, Dubai Islamic Bank and Emirates NBD among its newest issuer partners.

“Consumers prefer Visa both online and offline and trust they are secure in the checkout process,” Mr. Curtin said. “Merchants see the value Visa Checkout has to its consumers, also because of its ability to reduce the friction in the checkout process.

“A recent survey we did with comScore showed that merchants have seen an average of 69 percent conversion rate, which is higher than the traditional online checkout experience.”

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