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article imageCash is on the fast track out of the fast food industry

By Michael Essany     Apr 5, 2013 in Technology
You can now add fast food to the long list of industries that are turning away from cash and coin in order to embrace the enormous potential of mobile payment technologies.
This week, KFC launched a mobile wallet service through the new KFC Fast Track app. If the UK-based pilot program is successful, expect KFC to roll out a mobile payment option in the U.S. possibly even before year's end.
For now, the app is available for iPhone users in the U.K. and the web app is soon to be available for all connected devices.
International fast food chains are beginning to follow the lead of small business owners and restaurateurs who have flocked to the industry's leading mobile payment service providers - like Square, PayAnywhere, and GoPayment - at a fast clip.
According to the latest industry data, 54% of U.S. restaurant owners plan to invest more in technology in 2013, a development that will further expand mobile payment options for credit and debit card paying customers.
"There will come a day in the near future," says independent business analyst and mobile industry insider Mike Randazzo, "where consumers don't carry cash. We've already seen the start of this. At some point soon, cash transactions will represent a single-digital percentage of all fast food transactions in the U.S. and much of Europe."
The rapid adoption of mobile credit card readers has already permanently altered the pizza delivery landscape. Online and mobile orders at Domino's and Papa John's pizza chains are now 30 percent of each chain's overall business.
"Perhaps the biggest story in mobile payments is the growth among small independent pizza delivery establishments that are using mobile payment solutions for customers who either don't carry cash or are uncomfortable divulging their credit card information over the phone," Randazzo says.
Fueling this growth is the savvy marketing by leading mobile payment providers who continue to present a compelling case for why participants in the food service space should offer mobile payment options to customers.
"For businesses," reads a recent entry on the PayAnywhere blog, "mobile payment solutions offer countless benefits. With purchasing apps and card-processing capabilities, retailers broaden their consumer appeal.
Mobile solutions allow merchants to expedite sales and fund transfers with much greater efficiency, while keeping all monies safe from loss, theft or fire."
For now, as the mobile payments revolution steams ahead in the early months of 2013, KFC is just the latest fast food giant to enter this equally gigantic market.
"Our customers lead increasingly busy lives and KFC Fast Track is focused on helping them order, pay for and collect their food faster than ever before, delivering a great experience throughout," says Paul Borrett, IT Director of KFC UK and Ireland. "We look forward to working closely with AIRTAG and adding many more innovative features to KFC Fast Track in the coming months."
More about Kfc, Fast food, Square, GoPayment, Payanywhere
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