Domino's Delivers a Promise of 'Zero-Click' Mobile Payments

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Cutting out every step except one—opening the app—Domino's Pizza has introduced what may be the most streamlined approach yet to ordering and paying for delivery with its Zero-Click Ordering app, which launched this week for iOS and Android.

Simply launching the app puts a food order in motion, using customers' preselected menu choices within Domino's Easy Order system, established three years ago to speed up ordering. That process required five clicks, though.

The Zero-Click app aims to take digital commerce to the next level by eliminating manual input altogether, backstopped by an emergency-exit feature. When opened, the app displays a 10-second timer before the order is placed, providing a small window to allow users to change their minds. And that could be crucial as mobile commerce steadily marches toward anticipating consumers' impulses, analysts suggest.

Clever though it may seem, Zero-Click could set a dangerous precedent if opening an app is perceived as consent to purchase, noted Nick Holland, an independent payments analyst. "I would have thought an app like this would require some sort of control to confirm an order, but the Amazon Dash concept—pressing a button to place an order—exists and seems to be equivalent," Holland said.

Ann Arbor, Mich.-based Domino's already offers a plethora of quick digital-ordering approaches based on its AnyWare platform, including ordering via emoji, Twitter, text, Samsung TV and the Amazon Echo. As with the Zero-Click option, customers must first set up preferences and payment details online or via its core Domino's Pizza app, and link the profile to the selected ordering method.

"Domino's epitomizes the understanding merchants are developing that making orders and payments frictionless drives more purchases and higher ticket prices, and it's pushing the innovation boundaries with the Zero-Click app," said Tim Sloane, vice president of payments innovation at Mercator Advisory Group. "I trust Domino's is working on a way to shove that pizza into my mouth just minutes after some bizarre combination of biometrics identify that I want it, with no action on my part needed."

Domino's isn't the first to capitalize on instant moves in pizza-ordering apps. Teenagers in Brooklyn, N.Y., in 2014 launched Push for Pizza, an app enabling users to order their favorite pizza from the nearest local pizzeria with just a few clicks. And the founders aren't overly wowed by Domino's latest entry in the race to faster pizza payments.  

"Domino's could create mind-reading ordering technology, but you'd still end up with Domino's Pizza," observed Cyrus Summerlin, 20, noting that Push for Pizza differentiates itself by offering a sleek app plus access to local pizzerias. "Our mission is to enable the little guys with superior technology," he said.

In the two years since launching Push for Pizza with co-founder Maximillian Hellerstein, Summerlin said the company has expanded to include 2,200 pizza partners across the U.S. Summerlin also carps that Domino's "Tweet for Pizza" feature requires a setup process that he figures takes about 10 minutes, while he argues his company's setup takes about 30 seconds.

Because pizza seems to play a key role in driving innovation in mobile payments, we can expect to see continued competition in the arms race to get pizza to consumers faster, predicted Holland. It may only be a matter of time before Domino's invests in pizza cannons to fire them at buyers within a five-mile radius the instant they think about ordering, Holland mused.

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