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KFC enters mobile payments arena internationally with ordering app

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April 4, 2013

KFC is making it easier for busy consumers to order their favorite meals with a new mobile and Web application that lets users place an order and pay for it using their smartphone.

The company teamed up with Airtag on the mobile initiative. The app and optimized-site has been released in the UK and Ireland.

“We’ve been tracking what our colleagues have been doing in mobile and there has been a steady movement with consumers moving to mobile, and we’ve been looking at ways to leverage that,” said Paul Borrett, IT director of KFC UK and Ireland.

“Our customers are leading busy lives and with this app, they can receive their food, checkout and enjoy it quickly,” he said.

“We’re doing in-store trial. We have it in some stores now, and we’re going to make sure we’re going to get it right.”

Fast food
KFC is piloting the mobile ordering initiative in ten restaurants across the UK.

Currently, the Fast Track app is available for iPhone users and the Web app will soon to be available for all connected devices.

The mobile ordering app uses geotargeting technology that lets consumers locate the nearest KFC.

Furthermore, the app includes a mobile check-in feature for in-store order recall and a customer account so users can store ordering history, favorite products and payment details for one-click payments.

Using the app, hungry customers can compile an order by selecting desired products. From there, customers must enter their credit card information to checkout.

After the order is paid for, consumers get an order confirmation for pick-up, which also includes a QR code.

Upon arrival, consumers must check-in via their mobile device to let KFC staff know they are present in the location.

With the new mobile app, consumers can skip the line and proceed directly to a unique checkout dedicated specifically to KFC Fast Track users.

According to KFC, the company plans to include geofencing in its future efforts so users can do the mobile check-in before even arriving at the restaurant.

“It’s early days, but it’s something we’re testing,” Mr. Borrett said. “We think mobile payments are the next big thing.

“In KFC, because we’re not a delivery market in the UK, so people tend to be out and about and they would want to order food when the moment strikes.”

Evolution of mobile
Mobile ordering is growing at a rapid speed and fast food chains such as McDonald’s, Burger King and Domino’s have implemented their own mobile payments strategy to drive in-store traffic and revenue.

By rolling out an app, KFC is better accommodating its on-the-go consumers.

“As a shopping companion, mobile is a powerful tool,” said Jeremie Leroyer, CEO of Airtag, New York. “The market needs to focus on simple services such as mobile ordering, and the idea to keep the line small and give consumers a better experience.

“There is still a lot of education to do,” he said. “The main challenge remains in the execution of the technology.”

Final Take
Rimma Kats is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York

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Rimma Kats is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily and Mobile Marketer. Reach her at rimma@mobilemarketer.com.

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