Mobile payments became all the more rage when NFC was first introduced with Android devices, since the technology offered possibilities for users to fully leverage not just Google Wallet, but mobile payments in general. A lot of consumer brands were quick to jump onto the bandwagon, but a lot of them held back as well, particularly in the U.S. One factor behind this could be the fact that the U.S. market is dominated by the iPhone, and the Cupertino tech giant has so far held back from adapting the NFC technology. That all is expected to change with the iPhone 6, which, in all likelihood, will feature an NFC chip manufactured by XNP. Now, McDonald’s joins the foray of companies that are implementing mobile payments across its outlets, indicated by an internal memo released today.
The memo – unearthed by 9to5Mac – indicates predominantly two things; one, the payment hardware, which has already been supplied to most outlets in the fast food chain, needs to be installed and tested before September 15th, and all the employees be trained on the new system by the said date. Considering the timing of this move and how it coincides with Apple’s September 9th launch of the iPhone 6, we have all the reasons to suspect that the two moves are interlinked, and that the Cupertino company’s new NFC enabled phone might be a strong driver behind McDonald’s decision to adopt mobile payments.
It seems unlikely that the tech giant will opt for an iPhone-exclusive payment system that will work with select partners only. Instead, what would make more sense for Apple is to go for a universal payment method that utilizes the VeriFone standard already in place, and leave out its exclusive plans for a separate product platform. That said, Apple did something unique when it introduced Passbook, so we can never really be sure.
On the other hand, another report earlier this year indicated that McDonald’s might be working on an exclusive mobile app that would allow customers to place orders remotely and then just drop in at any McDonald’s outlet to pick it up later. Bundling such an app with the new mobile payment method will only make things more favorable for the fast food giant, but how things actually shape out will only be determined with time.