Wendy's has begun accepting mobile payments via its "My Wendy's" smartphone app. The fast-food chain joins the ranks of Starbucks (NASDAQ: SBUX), Dunkin Donuts (NASDAQ: DNKN) and Burger King (NYSE: BKW) that allow customers to pay for their orders using their cell phones.
Wendy's said that the majority of its 5,800 U.S. restaurants will be able to process payments using the new app. The chain has been testing the app for the past year and hopes the move will target millenials who never leave home without their cell phone in hand.
"If they want to come in and give us business, we want to allow them to pay the way they want to pay," Craig Bahner, chief marketing officer for Wendy's, told the Associated Press.
The Wendy's app processes payments by displaying a unique six-digit number on the user's profile for each transaction. The cashier has to enter this six-digit code for the payment to be deducted from the customer's mobile account balance.
Starbucks has been a leader in mobile payments within the restaurant industry, and now says that 14 percent of all purchases are processed through its app. Last summer, CEO Howard Schultz revealed the company was ringing up 2.1 million mobile payment transactions each week.
Last week, Burger King said it was updating its mobile app to allow customers to pay for their meals. The app will be rolled out to U.S. locations next month. Payment values will be tracked via a virtual card within the app, which customers can use to store cash value and pay for items in stores. Customers will also be able to use the app to redeem coupons and view nutrition facts.
Dunkin Donuts recently upgraded its mobile payment and points system. In November, the company revamped the app which rewards customers by providing points for every dollar spent. Once members have accrued 200 points, they get a free medium beverage. Additionally, the DD Perks Rewards app allows customers to pay via their smartphone, send gift cards to others and locate stores using a GPS feature.
-See this Associated Press article
Why can Burger King do mobile delivery where its rivals can't?
Starbucks dominates mobile payments. Why isn't anyone else even in the game?
Dairy Queen to test mobile-payment-by-check-in
OpenTable to add pay-by-phone, but there are still a few bugs in the system
Mobile payment apps are still bad at failing (but they're getting better)