by Jason Snell
Do you want Apple Pay with that?
Zac Hall at 9to5Mac reports on how Apple Pay will work at the McDonald’s drive-through:
The process of paying with your $650+ smartphone at a fast food drive through could potentially be risky if you have to hand over your iPhone to the window attendant, but McDonald’s training materials (received by 9to5Mac and seen above) for accepting mobile payments including Apple Pay show employees instead extending card readers to customers from the drive through window.
My trip to Canada this weekend reminded me just how different the American purchase process is from other countries. In Canada (and all the places I’ve been in Europe), you don’t hand your credit card to someone and let them walk away. You’re generally handed a little device (wireless or wired, it varies) and allowed to approve your purchase yourself, add a tip, confirm the whole thing. If you’re using a chip-and-PIN card, you don’t even need to sign anything.
Well, my fellow Americans better get ready for change. Not only is Apple Pay coming, but chip-and-PIN is replacing swipe-and-sign in about a year1. This is one of the reasons Apple’s smart to introduce Apple Pay right now, because in the U.S., all the credit-card hardware is about to be swapped out. It’s the HDTV transition all over again, in credit-card-reader form.
Technically the cards will be chipped and credit-card companies can choose whether to require PINs, so you could theoretically still be signing things, but over time the PIN will almost certainly win out over signing.