IBM installs cashless payment system at McDonald’s

12 Aug 2010

Technology giant IBM has signed a three-year agreement with McDonald’s to provide a new cashless payment solution for 1,300 McDonald’s owned and franchised restaurants across Ireland and the UK.

IBM will help McDonald’s cater to the growing number of customers using credit and debit card payments by introducing an improved system that will be operational by the end of 2010.

With McDonald’s restaurants serving millions of customers every day, the IBM solution will allow McDonald’s to continue improving customer experience at the counter by increasing the speed, flexibility and security of service. McDonald’s existing strong levels of security will be enhanced even further with anti-tamper and fraud detection software installed on handheld chip and pin devices to help protect customer card payments.

The solution will also help McDonald’s find smarter ways to run its day-to-day operations more efficiently by centralising business processes onto one database enabling automated settlement and reporting.

By installing these new processes, McDonald’s is also empowering its franchisees, the independent businessmen and women who own and operate the majority of McDonald’s restaurants, to view and query their own customer card data so any issues can be quickly resolved.

IBM will provide business and technology consulting services to integrate and maintain the payment solution which is being designed and built around the McDonald’s point of sale terminal. Following the launch of the new solution, IBM will also host and support McDonald’s entire payment system in a secure data centre.

The solution will be based around IBM’s StorePay and Sureswitch products to provide a complete payment service that extends from the handheld chip and pin device in the restaurant through to the back end processing on a pair of highly available IBM Series P servers which are monitored and managed by IBM’s UK Infrastructure Management Centre.

“With payment options becoming more numerous,  consumers now expect a truly flexible, secure and efficient service,” said Jonathan Glencross, retail client executive, IBM Ireland and UK.

“The new IBM payment solution is an important part of McDonald’s commitment to customer service, which makes it the world’s most successful restaurant chain,” Glencross said.

The deal was signed in June 2010 and is part of a multi-phase project spread over three years to continue transforming McDonald’s payment systems.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years