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Mobile payments being tested at McDonald's

Sep 19, 2013 Dave King

The nation's largest fast food chain is beginning to test mobile payments, which could help this technology become more mainstream.

According to Bloomberg, certain McDonald's restaurants are testing a system that allows consumers to order and pay via their smartphones. For example, people could order food on their way home from work and have it ready to pick up as they pass by a local restaurant.

"You have to look at the whole generation that's coming up and I think we're moving to a cashless society," Bob Goldin, executive vice president at restaurant researcher Technomic Inc, told Bloomberg. "It's a worthwhile investment."

McDonald's spokeswoman Lisa McComb said that the restaurant is hoping that this technology will be a success, but there are no guarantees that it will be used at all locations across the country.

However, many consumers still have security concerns about this technology, so there still may be reluctance to pay with mobile devices. To ensure these systems take off, businesses would be wise to take a full range of preventive measures so payment information will remain safe.

The Biometrics Research Group said that fingerprint recognition could be the solution to the security problem, as people wouldn't be able to pay for products without their device recognizing their fingerprint.

A couple of years ago this may have seemed farfetched, but now that many new devices, such as the iPhone 5s, are being equipped with biometrics technology, fingerprint security measures could become a reality. According to the research group, mobile payments transactions are expected to reach $250 billion by the end of 2014. Meanwhile, by the end of 2020, consumers using biometrics enabled devices are expected to spend more than $750 billion.