Taco Bell's latest app is showing once again that fast food outlets can be a leading player in the adoption of mobile payments. Earlier this year we took a look at McDonalds' first foray into the market and last week we took at look at Startbucks' position - Taco Bell will be trying to emulate the success of Starbucks' mobile app.
Taco Bell has one key thing going for it. Fast food chains' big advantage in the mobile payments space, is a more willing audience. Their customers want fast and convenient service, which makes the market a great testing ground for mobile solutions.
After two years of testing the app, Taco Bell has released its app on the Google play and App store ready for US customers to try out. The UK only has four Taco Bell outlets currently, but the company is owned by Yum!Brands. If the app is a success, we could see similar implementation in its other chains, such as Pizza Hut and KFC.
The app covers both in-store and drive-thru situations. Customers can pre-order and pay before they ever even reach a service counter, all from within the app. What the app aims to do is bring a high level of customisation and convenience to Taco Bell's customers. Senior Director of Digital Marketing and Platforms, Tressie Lieberman, said during a live announcement:
"The app is an exceptional experience. It offers things you can only do in the app and customization like never before... This puts the customer in control of the full experience."
The app looks like a great customer experience to me, but if this trend continues, am I going to end up having a page full of apps on my smartphone dedicated to different food and drink outlets? Perhaps that will be more condemning of my diet than anything else, but there is potential to have my financial details stored in a large number of different apps. Growth of mobile services and convenience should not come at the expense of security. That's one of the reasons we think our Onescan SDKs can be a really powerful tool for companies looking to future proof their mobile strategy.
By Matthew Taylor 3rd November 2014
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