On Thursday, Jennifer Bailey, vice president of Apple Pay, said that some Starbucks stores will accept Apple Pay, a mobile payments system, this year as part of a pilot program. Ms. Bailey made the announcement at the Code Mobile conference, a tech industry event, where she added that all Starbucks stores will accept Apple Pay sometime in 2016, as will the restaurant chains KFC and Chili’s.
Apple is helping quick-service restaurants like KFC, which “have a need for fast payments,” Ms. Bailey said.
The adoption of Apple Pay by the restaurant chains is the latest sign of the growth of the mobile payments system, which has been gaining partners as diverse as JetBlue and Rite Aid. Some of the retailers that now use Apple Pay had earlier declined to work with the system.
Apple introduced Apple Pay in September 2014. The system lets users pay for goods by holding their iPhone or Apple Watch near a credit card reader. Apple Pay works with the credit, debit, store and loyalty cards that users have stored in their Passbook app.
In a statement, Starbucks said it would test Apple in some stores by year’s end before rolling the service out next year in 7,500 stores. “We have been accepting Apple Pay in the U.K. over the past few months, and it has been received well by customers,” Starbucks said.
“Chili’s is focused on bringing guests the most innovative technology, and Apple Pay is transforming mobile payments with an easy, secure and private way to pay,” Chili’s said in a statement. A Chili’s spokeswoman also said that this was the first mobile payment system that the chain has adopted.
KFC did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Even though Apple Pay is still a tiny portion of Apple’s overall revenue stream, Ms. Bailey said that she had seen “a sea change in acceptance at the merchant level,” emphasizing that more businesses, including small and midsize ones, are adopting the technology necessary to accept payment methods like Apple Pay.
Whether Apple can use mobile payments to lock people into its product ecosystem remains to be seen. The number of people who use devices for mobile payments is growing fast, but it’s still tiny.
EMarketer, the research firm, said that there were 15.9 million mobile payment users in the United States in 2014 and that it expected that number to jump by 42 percent, to 22.6 million, this year.
Source: The New York Times