In France, they call a Quarter Pounder a Royale with cheese. Also in France, you can pay for it with a mobile app. CNN.com posted a nice summary of this in-the-wild testing project by the world’s largest fast food chain. Here were some of the more meaty details:
McDonald’s customers in Paris can now pay for a Royale with Cheese using their smartphones or tablets — a concept that could spread to the company’s 33,500 locations worldwide if the fast-food leader likes the results.
Customers at 30 locations in France are now able to order their meals using the McDonald’s mobile app, pay for it via PayPal, then join a separate line to pick up their food, according to a Reuters report.
The trial is part of a rapidly growing consumer-service trend of skipping cash, and even credit cards, in favor of a quick tap from a mobile phone.
Major retailers from Target to Best Buy to 7-Eleven have teamed up to create the Merchant Customer Exchange. The group is developing a mobile app that would allow customers to pay for goods at participating stores’ registers with their smartphones. The app will also give users exclusive coupons and deals.
Square, a mobile app and phone attachment created by one of the founders of Twitter, is gaining traction as a tool for small businesses to accept credit-card payments and this month signed a deal with Starbucks for the coffee behemoth to begin accepting payments through the app.
The trend is clear: We’re transitioning to a cashless society, thanks to mobile technology. The real question, at least for me, is whether individual companies will have success in rolling out their own payment apps (think Starbucks, McDonalds, etc.) or whether a company like Google (i.e. Google Wallet) will dominate the space for all retailers. Whatever the outcome may be, testing is sure to play a major role. Stay tuned.