Front view of McDonald's Restaurant; person using apple pay

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Does McDonald’s take Apple Pay?

We explore whether you can use your phone for food at the fast-food giant.

 

Phil West

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Apple Pay is a convenient way to pay for things. Don’t have your wallet or purse with you? No sweat! Just pull out your iPhone, double click a button, and you’re able to use it to make your transaction—provided you’re at a store or restaurant that takes Apple Pay.

But Apple Pay’s not quite universal. Those who find themselves at McDonald’s with a phone might wonder, “Does McDonald’s take Apple Pay?”

First of all, how does Apple Pay work?

To use Apple Pay, you need an iPhone and a source of payment like a credit card or debit card. According to Apple, “Apple Pay replaces your physical cards and cash with an easier, safer, more private and secure payment method.”

“Just add your credit or debit card to the Wallet app on your iPhone and you’re ready to go,” the site says. A short video explains that a plus button will appear in the upper right corner of your iPhone. You then scan the card using the camera on the back of the phone. That should then put the card in use.

When it comes time to pay, you can either use your default card or another one. To use your default card, Apple advises:

  • If your iPhone has Face ID, double-click the side button. If prompted, authenticate with Face ID or enter your passcode to open Apple Wallet.
  • If your iPhone has Touch ID, double-click the Home button.

“To use a different card,” it continues, “tap your default card to see your other cards. Tap a new card and authenticate. “Hold the top of your iPhone near the contactless reader until Done and a checkmark appears on the display.”

You can also use an Apple Watch by double-clicking the side button. Apple notes, “Your default card opens automatically. Scroll down to choose another card.” And then, “Hold the display of your Apple Watch near the contactless reader until you feel a gentle tap and hear a beep.”

Does McDonald’s take Apple Pay?

Yes, McDonald’s does take Apple Pay. On the McDonald’s site, its “What forms of payment are accepted?” page specifies Apple Pay is one of your options at the Golden Arches.

And, not only can you use it at the register, you can use it in the McDonald’s app.

“You can register Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover cards in the app. Payment cards registered must be issued by a U.S. bank. If you have an iOS device, and your card is registered to your Apple Wallet, Apple Pay will automatically display as a payment option within the McDonald’s app.”

It’s also an option for Mobile Order & Pay, which allows McDonald’s customers to order from a distance. According to the McDonald’s website, “If you turn on location services, Mobile Order & Pay will appear in the McDonald’s app as a feature when you’re within 5 miles of a McDonald’s restaurant that offers Mobile Order & Pay.”

It adds, “Within the location map, after selecting a restaurant icon, selecting the white detail box will also indicate if Mobile Order & Pay is available at a particular location. If the restaurant is participating, ‘Order Here’ will appear in black letters at the bottom of the detail page, allowing you to select it and begin the order. If not, ‘Order Here’ will appear muted out, indicating that Mobile Order & Pay is not enabled at that location.”

The McDonald’s app has become a favorite of many McDonald’s customers, including one who claimed it’s become her new social media. Apple Pay takes it to a whole other level.

Do other fast-food restaurants take Apple Pay?

You might be wondering about other fast-food restaurants and their Apple Pay friendliness. For instance, does Chick-fil-A take Apple Pay? Does Taco Bell take Apple Pay? Does Whataburger take Apple Pay? Does Wendy’s take Apple Pay?

Chick-fil-A reports on its site, “Yes, you can link your Apple Pay account to your Chick-fil-A App to pay directly for mobile orders.” It was, in fact, an early adopter of the platform, announcing in February 2016, “Apple Pay will be introduced in a gradual rollout to each Chick-fil-A Restaurant and will be available chain-wide by late 2016.”

At Taco Bell, “Digital wallets such as Apple Pay and Google Pay” are listed as a payment option.

Whataburger was another early adopter of Apple Pay; in 2017, the restaurant’s social media team responded to a customer’s query with a tweet reading, “Well we accept apple pay and all that jazz. Do you use our app?”

Wendy’s was a little late to the party, but as Appleosophy reported in May 2022, Wendy’s started rolling out Apple Pay in some of its stores the month prior, and also uses it in its app.

As the Daily Dot’s coverage reveals, you might want to practice a bit in more leisurely settings before attempting to use Apple Pay in a lunch rush drive-thru. One of the biggest frustrations with Apple Pay for McDonald’s workers and other fast-food workers is people not knowing how to work Apple Pay when it comes time to pay for an order.

 
The Daily Dot