McDonald’s Rolls Out Contactless Payment for Credit Cards

By Janet Hutchins on Jul 15, 2011 | Filed in News

McDonalds Rolls Out Payment for Credit Cards

One of the issues that comes with being at the forefront of technology is that few retailers are equipped for the use of digital wallets and the like. Consumers might be getting a little help, though, from McDonald’s. The popular fast-food chain is integrating contactless payment in its Canadian locations, proving that some retailers are ready to embrace new credit card payment technology that makes things more convenient — and more secure.

McDonald’s Ready to Ride the Wave of the Payment Future

Digital wallets are coming. Smartphones have the ability to act as credit cards, thanks to technology that allows you to simply wave your phone in front of the point of sale terminal. McDonald’s new terminals accept MasterCard’s PayPass (and can be used with the Google Wallet) as well as Visa’s PayWave, which is what will be used in the roll out of Visa’s Digital Wallet come autumn.

My Bank Tracker reports on how the contactless payment works, as well as explaining that this type of transaction is more secure than swiping your credit card:

“This is significant because contactless payments make the checkout experience faster and easier – meaning that McDonald’s will be able to process customers faster and improve service times” said Hindman.  ”From a Visa perspective, it’s exciting to give Visa cardholders the ability to pay quickly and easily with Visa payWave at one of Canada’s favourite restaurant chains.”

Visa’s payWave works by allowing customers to wave their Visa cards over a unique reader rather than inserting or swiping a card, which can cut back on the likelihood of fraudulent purchases. The card uses EMV chip technology, which securely stores and encrypts confidential information. Once the reader reads a customer’s card, a payment can then be processed in less than a third of a second.

Lagging Behind…

It is clear that McDonald’s is ready to ride the wave of the future, but grocery stores, clothing stores and other retailers may be slow to implement the point of sale terminals that can read contactless payments, since they can be expensive. With McDonald’s taking the lead, though, perhaps other companies will soon be willing to embrace this payment technology. After all, smartphones are growing in popularity, and if so many have these phones — and want the conveniences they bring — retailers need to adapt.

While McDonald’s is a far cry from the full integration of contactless payment, it’s a good start. Hopefully, in a few years, you’ll be able to use your smartphone as your favourite credit card, no matter where you shop.

Image source: M.Minderhoud via Wikimedia Commons