McDonald's Expanding Tests Of Cashless Payments


Chicago-In its ongoing quest to cut service times forfast food, McDonald's Corp. said it's expanding a range ofelectronic payment systems that let customers buy burgers withoutthe hassle of digging out bills or credit cards.

In the Chicago area, McDonald's home market, regionaloperators recently voted to give their more than 400 area storesthe option of letting customers purchase Quarter Pounders, frenchfries and other menu items using a payment device designed by ExxonMobil Corp. three years ago for use primarily at its Mobil gasstations.

Customers wave Speedpass-a small barrel-shaped radiotransponder-at a reader located at a McDonald's drive-thru or acounter inside the restaurant. Mobil lets customers link theSpeedpass to a major credit card, which subsequently adds theMcDonald's transactions to their monthly bill.

"It's clear that cashless payments are something ourcustomers are very interested in," Lisa Howard ofMcDonald's told Reuters. The Speedpass system has been testedin nine Chicago area stores since October 2000 before franchiseesdecided to expand it to their entire market, she adds.-Reuters

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