Starbucks, KFC and Chilli’s will soon accept Apple Pay, company representatives have announced at Re/code’s Code/Mobile conference on Thursday.
Initially, the Seattle-based coffeehouse chain will be conducting a pilot program, to test the payment service in a limited number of locations, for the next months.
Provided that it turns out to be successful, the initiative will progressively extend to more and more restaurants across the nation. It is expected that by 2016, following the roll-out, Apple Pay will be available at all the 7,500 stores within the chain.
For now, company representatives haven’t given any details regarding members of Starbuck’s Loyalty Program. Normally, frequent shoppers can join “My Starbucks Rewards” and earn stars on their registered cards, which can be exchanged for free drinks and other food prizes.
It remains to be seen if making purchases by Apple Pay will still allow clients to collect such loyalty points. Since iOS 9 tends to incorporate these cards while doing transactions, most likely Starbucks customers will continue to benefit from this program.
In addition, the multinational tech giant has also partnered with KFC in order to provide this type of payment service to its patrons. Customers will be able to buy fried chicken buckets, burgers, wraps, salad or other food items just by using Apple Pay.
This method of purchase will be introduced by next spring, according to Apple Vice President Jennifer Bailey. As the company executive explains, there is extensive support for this type of purchases from quick-service restaurants which require prompt payment.
Apple has also established a partnership with Chilli’s for this project, in order to introduce its payment service for tableside ordering and transactions.
This is a surprising addition to the line-up, given that Chilli’s Grill & Bar is a dining restaurant chain, which offers traditional service. In comparison, KFC and Starbucks aren’t sit-down establishments, and instead require customers to order their food at a counter.
All in all, it appears that Apple is making progress when it comes to expanding its mobile payment service.
For example, electronics retailer Best Buy supports purchasing items via Apple Pay at all of its 1,400 stores. Back in April, it also updated its iOS app to accept this payment for home delivery or in-store pickup.
Target is also getting behind Apple Pay, after CEO Brian Cornell hinted that its department stores would also support such mobile purchases soon.
This growing acceptance among merchants is promising, especially considering that the vast majority of device owners that could use this service have yet to actually try it.
Apple Pay was unveiled in October 2014 in an effort to turn smartphones into digital wallets, and is currently in use at about 700,000 retail locations.
It may be that shoppers weren’t given the opportunity to resort to Apple Pay because many stores still don’t support this payment method, but as recent trends indicate, this is bound to change soon.
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