Burger King serves up more payment options

Burger King Restaurants of Canada is expanding its ‘have it your way’ philosophy by leveraging the services of First Data and MasterCard Canada to provide patrons with another payment option.

According to Grant Sutherland, business systems manager at Burger King Canada, customers will benefit now that First Data is handling MasterCard card processing and settlement for 123 corporate-owned Burger King restaurants in Canada, or roughly one-third of all the company’s corporate-owned restaurants in the country.

First Data’s payment processing solution in Canada supports the MasterCard Quick Payment Service (QPS) program. The QPS program, designed to help merchants in market spaces where speed is necessary and purchase values are relatively low, stipulates that no signatures on receipts are required from persons who use their MasterCards for purchases under $25.00.

“It allows us to have customers pay it their way,” said Sutherland, stressing that the Freedom III devices his company uses were in place before the First Data-MasterCard announcement. “It’s an IP device that takes debit credit cards and processes them through the system and so that further helped reduce the transaction times.

“We went from maybe seven or eight seconds on Datapak lines to three to four seconds on DSL. Between no signature required on the MasterCard and using these devices, it’s probably quicker than cash now because there’s no change to fumble around with, no need to go into your pocket and dig around for the pennies.”

Nagesh Devata, vice-president of commercialization at MasterCard Canada, said that while various major brands are participating in the QPS program, the addition of Burger King Canada is a coup that the credit card company hopes will spur other quick-service restaurants to follow suit. And he said the likelihood of other businesses knocking on MasterCard’s door for the QPS program is enhanced by the fact that firms are always trying to ramp up customer service.

“We’re excited to be opening this payment options with someone like Burger King,” said Devata, adding that the program is suited to the restaurant, convenience store, theatre, parking, pharmacy and gas station market spaces. “(Burger King’s) leadership will spur others in the quick-service restaurant industry. This can help usher in a new way of paying for items…This is definitely the wave of the future. Merchants have expressed a desire to have this type of solution.”

According to one analyst, the move toward using credit cards more and more in quick-service restaurants is a good one because patrons are enjoying swipe-and-go experiences.

“It increases the convenience and it could result in greater sales on a per-customer basis,” said Michelle Warren from Evans Research. “(MasterCard) is even faster than using a debit card where you have to type in the number. The shift toward convenience to the customer is continuing. . . . It’s about getting customers in the door.”

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