Burger King is working on a new mobile payment option. But before rolling it out across the country the chain is doing some good old fashioned in the wild testing with some stores in Utah. Here are the details from Internet Retailer:
Consumers craving a Burger King combo meal in Salt Lake City now need look no further than their smartphone to pay the bill. Burger King Corp. announced today it is testing a mobile payment service in 50 of its locations in the Utah capital and surrounding metropolitan areas.
The BK payment app allows consumers to purchase and use a reloadable mobile BK Crown Card. Consumers can download the app via Apple Inc.’s App Store and Android storehouse Google Play, open the app to access their mobile card, and pay by scanning a QR code placed on counters or drive-up windows of participating restaurants.
I’m sure part of the test is to see if people will actually use the technology. But the more important part (from a testing standpoint) is to ensure the transactions function correctly outside of the lab – where other apps, surrounding technology, imperfect connectivity and fidgety people or idling cars, among offer factors, come into play. Here’s how the BK mobile payments are supposed to work:
The static QR code is unique to each point of sale terminal, Firethorn says. When a customer scans the code, it identifies the customer and connects her to the specific terminal. No sensitive payment data is stored on the phone, Firethorn says.
“The customer scans the QR code, the payment is processed, and the virtual gift card is debited and immediately updated with the new balance,” says Chip Fishburne, vice president, business development and marketing for Firethorn.
They’re also planning for the inevitability that someone without the Burger King app will scan the QR codes that will soon be present at every cash register.
The consumer has to use the BK Mobile Crown Card app to make a purchase. If the customer does not have the app and scans one of the QR codes with any QR code reader app, she will be directed to a landing page within the BK web site with links to the Apple App Store or Google Play where she can download the application.
This is a potentially complicated new project Burger King is undertaking, with a lot of real world conditions that are hard to predict or replicate in a lab. I’m glad BK understands the need for in the wild testing before launching such a new program. Hopefully they’ll be able to work out any kinks before the official launch. This foresighted testing will keep their busy customers happy in the long run.