Feeds

e-cash for Big Macs

'Wand' technology promises faster fast food

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

McDonald's is trialing e-payment technology in the hope it can serve punters more quickly while building customer loyalty.

Across 26 selected outlets of the fast food chain in Idaho customers will soon be able to pay for their Big Mac and fries by waving a "wand" in front of an electronic sensor. According to USA Today, more than 2,000 people have signed up to the programme, which offers a $5 bonus for the first $15 spent.

Although e-cash offers apparent benefits of freeing punters from fumbling for change the idea hasn't taken off anything like as quickly as early pioneers hoped. In the case of food retail, Burger King dropped an electronic payment scheme using smart cards after a test programme failed to demonstrate any real benefits from the system for its business.

McDonald's seems far more enthusiastic about the idea and is trailing a number of different, though similar, electronic payment systems throughout the US, in places as diverse as California, New York's Long Island, Chicago and Idaho.

The Idaho system uses technology developed by e-commerce payment firm FreedomPay. After signing up to FreedomPay's service customers can load up their account using a credit card or by sending a cheque to the Pennsylvania-based outfit.

After this customers are issued with a FreedomPay "wand" and key chain. Inside the "wand" is a customer ID number, which can be read by a sensor at a merchant's premises. Details on the amount of the purchase and this ID number are transmitted to FreedomPay's server, which debits the corresponding account.

Even though the system uses a "wand", and some fairly spiffy technology, it seems it lacks any magically capabilities that would make McDonald's food taste any better. The move will do nothing to build customer loyalty among Hindus (who consider cows sacred) angry about reports that McDonald's fries are pre-cooked in beef dripping. ®

External Links

FreedomPay
USA Today: McDonald's testing e-payment system

Related Stories

McHackers use DNS exploit to poke fun
McDonald's hit by spitting email hoax
McDonalds revamps chip business

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
DOUBLE BONK: Testy fanbois catch Apple Pay picking pockets
Users wail as tapcash transactions are duplicated
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
In the next four weeks, 100 people will decide the future of the web
While America tucks into Thanksgiving turkey, the world will be taking over the net
Microsoft EU warns: If you have ties to the US, Feds can get your data
European corps can't afford to get complacent while American Big Biz battles Uncle Sam
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.