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McDonald's Says Yes, You Want Mobile Payment With That

With the announcement that McDonald’s is teaming with global payments platform, Adyen, the Big Mac factory is putting yet more of its fries into its mobile/digital basket. Adyen’s platform, according to Leandro Balbinot, SVP of Global Technology and Digital at McDonald’s in a press release, will help to “provide customers a seamless experience through a variety of payment methods that align with the unique needs of our markets.”

The strategy for McDonald’s has centered around “giving customers more control over how they order, how they pay and how they receive their food,” as the ousted former CEO, Steve Easterbrook said in an October 2019 earnings call.

Almost sounds like a competitive QSR’s slogan, “your way, right away.” And a good strategy it is. Hospitality Technology’s 2019 Customer Engagement Technology Study reveals that 49% of diners want mobile ordering and 48% want mobile payment, while only 38% of restaurants report to offer it. The tide may be turning as 56% of restaurant operators recognize that mobile payment support is a must-have for POS systems, according to HT’s 2019 Restaurant Technology Study.

According to a press release from Adyen, McDonald’s will begin rolling out the platform globally, starting in the U.K. in early 2020.  Adyen provides an end-to-end infrastructure for merchants to connect directly to consumers’ globally preferred payment methods, enabling frictionless payments across online, mobile and in-store channels.

McDonald’s has been leading a multi-year push to establish dominance with digital-powered initiatives. Adding Adyen to the mix, sends a message that McDonalds will not be shying away from promoting its My McDonald’s mobile app which launched in 2018. McDonald’s also invested in Plexure, a mobile app vendor to power a version of McDonald’s Global Mobile App in 48 countries outside the U.S. and other markets, including Italy and Japan. The company recently employed the services of Ready10 in London to “support communications and influencer activity for its My McDonald’s app,” according to Holmes Report.

Touting the creation of an “experience of the future” (EOTF), Easterbrook mapped out digital investments and initiatives to create environments with easier and faster ordering, and greater hospitality.

The acquisition of Dynamic Yield in 2019 adds heft to McDonald’s capabilities to provide customized experiences through its app – and the drive through as well. By utilizing Dynamic Yield’s machine learning, McDonald’s can leverage customer data including order patterns to predict, personalize and deliver on guest expectations.

Those expectations are driven by consumers’ demand for convenience. Notably, 59% of consumers will choose a restaurant for off-premise dining based on the ease of online ordering and 52% prioritize mobile ordering. Almost half of consumers (48%) will choose takeout based on if the restaurant has a feature-rich mobile app and 43% will make a dining decision based on the ability to use mobile pay.

The next phase of convenience will be driven by voice, so McDonald’s acquisition of Apprente, a provider of voice-based, conversational technology, is not surprising. The technology is expected to allow for faster, simpler and more accurate order taking at the drive-through and has the potential to be incorporated into mobile ordering and kiosks.


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