A short code for a Whopper, or a tap for a Big Mac? On the heels of McDonald’s working with Apple to let iPhone users buy Big Macs and more using Apple Pay, PayPal — Apple’s burgeoning rival in payments — has inked a deal with McD’s long-time fast-food competitor, Burger King, to power a mobile payment service at its chain of restaurants, by way of a new Burger King app for iOS and Android devices, which will be rolled out by early next year, PayPal’s chief product officer Hill Ferguson says.
Coinciding its news with the Money 2020 conference, PayPal is also announcing two other developments that speak to how PayPal wants to expand its payments ecosystem beyond eBay ahead of its spinoff from the e-commerce giant, and show that it’s more than a one-trick pony.
PayPal is also integrating its payment buttons as a default in the new GoDaddy Online Store — an e-commerce backend that GoDaddy is offering to its customers to power purchases on their sites — with a PayPal Express Checkout button now getting pre-installed with each Online Store integration.
And it is confirming that “millions” have now used its Pay After Delivery service, in which PayPal fronts an immediate payment to a merchant and then gives customers up to 14 days to complete the transaction.
The Burger King payment service, developed in partnership with Tillster, will be live “early next year” and is is modelled around some of the other products that PayPal has developed in the area of point-of-sale services in the food and beverage industry such as this trial in the UK, which also used PIN codes to let people order food.
“With the app, consumers can unlock deals (like free fries or a drink), access menu items and view nutritional information,” Ferguson notes in a blog post. “To pay with PayPal, consumers simply launch the BURGER KING app, which will automatically generate a four-digit pin that they can use to pay at the register.”
Fast food is a natural early adopter for mobile payments: Businesses like Burger King and their customers are always looking for any opportunity to shave time off the average visit, and one promise of mobile payments is that they can speed up the process of ordering and paying into a single experience that can be controlled by the customer himself.
In the Burger King case, users are drawn into the app (and to BK) with special deals and loyalty schemes for repeat visitors, and are then given the option to speed up their purchases by ordering directly in the app and generating a four-digit PIN that lets them complete the payment and pick up their food at the register.
The initial rollout of the BK service is U.S.-only, but the international potential is interesting, with 13,000 establishments worldwide (although this pales in comparison to McDonald’s, which has upwards of 30,000). We’ve asked PayPal for more details about international expansion, whether other BK-owned brands will also be included, and what sort of revenue share PayPal will get with each transaction. We are hopefully talking to them later, and will update as we learn more.