When Fast Food Isn't Fast Enough, Turn To Mobile Payments

Coauthored by Ben Carsley, Managing Editor (@BC_PYMNTS)

Welcome to What's Trending In Payments - a weekly look at the most popular, irreverent and important stories the payments industry had to offer over the past five days. Which companies grabbed the most headlines - for better or for worse - this week, and which topics have the industry abuzz with intrigue, laughter or disbelief? Featuring breakdowns from the staff and commentary by Karen Webster, here’s our take on what all of you payments peeps thought.

TOPIC ONE: Mobile Winner, Chicken Dinner

Why It’s Hot

In April of this year, KFC and mShopping solutions provider AIRTAG partnered to launch a mobile shopping and payments pilot in the U.K. and Ireland. This week, AIRTAG published some promising results from the collaboration: namely that 90 percent of the app’s users placed an order via their mobile device.

The pilot also revealed that more than a third of the KFC Fast Track App users were 18-29-year-olds, and that the app cut down on in-store waiting time by 60-70 percent.

“To keep up with the mobile generation, quick-serve restaurants need to follow suit and deliver [to] their end users, real-time, on demand, anytime and anywhere,” AIRTAG CEO Jeremie Leroyer told Mobile Commerce Daily.

Obligatory reference to the findings being “finger-lickin’ good” found here.

Karen’s Commentary

Now there’s a development even the Colonel would like! But, as the tweeter pointed out, mobile ordering is only as good as the redesigned business processes in store so that customers aren’t substituting one wait in line for another. That was sort of the contactless card misnomer too back in the day at QSRs ... tapping might have been nanoseconds faster than swiping, but you still had to wait for the burger so what’s the point?

Top Tweet

@imannebye: wait its already 45 minutes where’s my food @kfc

If only Fast Track were available around the world, perhaps this tweeter would’ve been spared the terrible fate of spending more than 10 minutes inside a physical KFC store.

TOPIC TWO: More Printing, More Problems

Why It’s Hot

Most of us have heard the phrase “a license to print money,” but some crooks from Romania put a new spin on that idiom by printing a way to steal some cash instead. Tech-savvy thieves in the Land Down Under are using 3-D printers to produce custom bankcard skimming devices, and recently got away with a $100,000 heist in Sydney, Australia.

As VentureBeat pointed out, the skimmers are incredibly hard to recognize because they can be fit for specific ATM models.

“These devices, which are fitted to specific ATMs, were in some cases entirely self-contained, making them even harder to spot than normal bank card skimmers,” the news source noted. “They even had tiny cameras for recording PIN numbers.”

Our editor Pete Rizzo covered some positive effects 3-D printing may have on payments a few weeks ago, and 3-D printing has made headlines for its ability to produce all sorts of weird items. But this is a good example of the dark side of 3-D printing, and will definitely be a worth monitoring if it becomes a trend.

Karen’s Commentary

Geez, leave it to the bad guys to rain on innovation’s parade. Well, in the lemonade out of lemons category, at least the bad guys help us see where innovation is vulnerable to fraud. But, that must have been some 3-D printer ...

Top Tweet

@Erik_Barnett: 3D Printing is slick. Its so slick that #Hackers are saving money by printing their own ATM Skimmers. #infosec

Erik tweeted out this story that dives into even more detail about the ATM skimming and noted that Romania - always a hotbed of illicit payment activity - is home to the criminals using 3-D printing. When in Rome, do as the Romans do, but I guess when in Romania, keep a close eye on your cards.

Topic Three: Welcome To The Internet, I’ll Be Your Guide

Why It’s Hot

The past week has seen some surprising statistics about Internet usage - or I guess the lack thereof - in two of the world’s most prominent eCommerce markets: the U.S. and the UK. On Monday, we noted  that 7 million adults in the UK have never once used the web, including 33 percent of adults under the age of 75. Then on Tuesday, the New York Times released a report indicating that roughly 20 percent of Americans don’t use the Internet in their daily lives.

There are obviously a ton of factors that come into play here, and eCommerce isn’t slowing down anytime soon, but the numbers are eye opening nonetheless.

Karen’s Commentary

Geez, I thought that since my 70-something Mom has been on the internet for the last five years that virtually everyone was. And, this is a Mom who’s never ever used a debit card or an ATM machine because she “doesn’t trust it.” I think that the qualifier at least in the U.S. stats is the phrase “in their daily lives.” I bet that the “surveyed” actually do use the internet, but just don’t have their faces in their smartphones 24/7. Another example of Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics, I guess.

Top Tweet

@LaurieLee0966: WHAT??!!! Where do they live? RT @alec_states: 1 in 5 American adults still do not use the #Internet

As a member of the generation that’s basically grown up with the Internet, I must admit that I had the same reaction as this tweeter. The biggest travesty of all, of course, is that 20 percent of Americans will never have a chance to read this column. How will they carry on?



The September 2020 Leveraging The Digital Banking Shift Study, PYMNTS examines consumers’ growing use of online and mobile tools to open and manage accounts as well as the factors that are paramount in building and maintaining trust in the current economic environment. The report is based on a survey of nearly 2,200 account-holding U.S. consumers.

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