Summits Yellow

McDonald's Trials Mobile Payments in South Africa

Tyrone Stewart

McDonaldsMcDonald’s has reportedly launched a mobile payment pilot project in South Africa. The service, which leverages QR code payments, will begin running at selected flagship restaurants in Johannesburg and Cape Town, according to IT Web Africa.

This is the latest development in the ongoing saga of McDonald’s introducing mobile ordering and payment functionality, which has been on the cards since July last year. Initial reports had suggested a roll-out would start in the US before expanding to Australia, Canada, France and the UK, and eventually becoming available at 20,000-25,000 restaurants worldwide by 2018.

Not only does this South African pilot look to have charted a new course geographically, it also seemingly undercuts plans to introduce ordering as part of the fast food giant's own app.

The trial instead uses the Tencent-developed WeChat app, which launched in the country last November. Customers will be able to pay using the QuickPay service.

Payments through the service will be made possible through a WeChat’s partnership with South Africa’s Standard Bank. The service lets users make P2P transfers, pay for services and make in-store payments by scanning QR codes at 30,000 merchants supporting the SnapScan mobile payments platform.

To incentivise adoption, the first 20,000 customers to use the service will be able to get 50 per cent cashback.

McDonald’s South Africa CMO Daniel Padiachy told IT Web Africa: "McDonald's is a brand built on the principles of quality, service, cleanliness and value. With that in mind, we believe that WeChat's Quick Pay will further assist us in upholding these principles.”