Wendy's International Inc. is beefing up the payment functions of its My Wendy's mobile app, which furthers the company's strategy and plays on other quick service retailer's success with mobile payments.
Wendy's added auto-reload to the payment landing page of the mobile app last week. The update is in line with the mobile Starbucks Card's reload options, allowing customers to manage accounts on the mobile device instead of wasting time at the register.
The My Wendy's app launched last summer as an application for personalizing meals based on the calorie count. Over time, Wendy's added payments functions to the app, allowing users to make purchases funded by an attached credit card or gift card.
Many retailers are advancing proprietary mobile wallets, including Target Corp. and Walgreen Co. And the Merchant Customer Exchange, a venture formed by large U.S. retailers, is currently working on a mobile wallet for use at the point of sale.
Wendy's began piloting a payment feature within the mobile application in May. Users of the My Wendy's app in Albuquerque, N.M., Portland, Ore. and Austin, Texas can use the mobile application to pay for their orders at the register.
The app creates a one-time use numeric code that customers give to the cashier during purchase. The code is also time-sensitive and must be used within five minutes.
Wendy's also plans to offer discounts and rewards within its app. During its test, it emailed offers such as a free Frosty for loading the mobile account, but it required those offers to be printed out. Wendy's plans on making offers and rewards digital, and as data accumulates, the offers will be more targeted.
The new version of the My Wendy's app also brings updated nutrition facts and improved account lockout capabilities. The app works on iOS and Android devices.
While Wendy's has recently devoted attention to its mobile payments offering, the restaurant is still hesitant about the benefits of EMV chip-card acceptance. In April, during the Nacha Payments 2013 conference, Wendy's voiced concerns about whether EMV cards provide enough fraud protection to offset the cost of accepting them.