October 31, 2014
Quick-service restaurants (QSR) are quickly adopting mobile payment technology as consumers are showing more interest in using their mobile devices for an easier way to pay. The National Restaurant Association reports that 4 in 10 young adults say they would likely pay for their quick-service restaurant orders by mobile or wireless device if they could.
Softcard and McDonalds recently collaborated to enable Softcard’s payment service across McDonalds’ 14,000 U.S. locations. Customers would be able to make able NFC based payments in restaurants and in the drive-thru lane as well. A notable fact is that this deployment of NFC-based mobile commerce is the largest for the drive-thru concept.
Earlier this month, Softcard also collaborated with SUBWAY to bring NFC-based mobile payments to 26,000 SUBWAY U.S. locations across U.S. As part of the deal, Softcard had also integrated SUBWAY Card Rewards Program into the Softcard app. Softcard users can get cashback upto $1 on every purchase made as part of SUBWAY’s rewards program.
Softcard is the mobile commerce joint venture created by popular U.S. operators: AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless. It was earlier known as ISIS Wallet but was rebranded earlier this year to avoid association with the militant group. Softcard offers a free app to combine payments, offers and loyalty. The app is compatible with over 80 mobile devices across the three carriers. Softcard’s NFC based mobile payment service is available across 200,000 locations in U.S.
Softcard uses contactless EMV global standard and SmartTap mobile commerce technology to enable seamless payments, redemption of offers and access to loyalty programs. But Softcard is facing a tough competition from other mobile wallet services that are also keeping up with the current technology trends. One of them is the recently launched Apple Pay that is disrupting the mobile wallet space with robust payment service and wider merchant base.
CurrentC mobile wallet service, backed by MCX, is raging war against NFC based mobile payment service in the market. The group MCX, which has many merchants under its regime, is trying to shut off NFC terminals by imposing contractual obligations. This makes it more difficult for services like Softcard to achieve more scalable collaborations in the merchant space.
The rising demand among customers for NFC based payments, brought upon by popular brands like Apple, and companies like Poynt coming up with innovative NFC enabled terminals, we can say that NFC based payments have a long run in the market. In this long run, collaborations with brands like Mcdonalds and SUBWAY will help Softcard maintain its share in the mobile wallet space and further demonstrate the value it delivers to customers and merchants.