Months after announcing plans to launch Apple Pay, Yum Brands’ Kentucky Fried Chicken this week said it’s enabling the mobile wallet—along with Android Pay and Samsung Pay at the same time.
But despite this enthusiasm for mobile payments, KFC has not put forth a branded mobile wallet of its own in the U.S.
Analysts say KFC appears to be bucking a trend within the fast-food industry where major players including McDonald’s, Burger King and Wendy’s are supporting mobile payments broadly through NFC and through proprietary mobile apps.
“When we factored in consumer concerns about security and privacy, we identified Android Pay, Apple Pay and Samsung Pay as the best options for our guests,” Christ Caldwell, KFC chief information officer, said in a June 1 press release.
The company did not return calls about plans to extend a mobile payments option through a KFC app, though such an option has existed for some time in the U.K. and Australia.
Fast-food merchants are quickly adopting mobile payments “through as many options as possible,” said Jordan McKee, a senior analyst with 451 Research.
“There is an immediate opportunity for branded mobile apps in fast food, and KFC’s decision to eschew development of its own app so far seems like a missed opportunity to me,” McKee said, noting that options to order and pay ahead are popular with fast-food customers.
KFC already has the order-ahead option in Australia and it would not be surprising to see it expand to the U.S. soon, McKee added.
In October 2015 Apple said KFC, Chili’s and Starbucks would soon adopt Apple Pay. Chili’s still isn’t accepting Apple Pay, and Starbucks routes users to Apple Pay within its own app.
Louisville, Ky.-based KFC Corp., a subsidiary of Yum Brands, said it will finish adding NFC-capable payment terminals throughout its U.S. locations by the end of the summer as part of an $80 million overhaul of its stores. Yum operates 19,400 KFC outlets in 120 countries.