Apple Pay to Expand to Starbucks Stores, KFC and Chili's

Soon, Starbucks lattes and KFC fried chicken will just be a tap away with Apple Pay.

Apple Inc. is rolling out its mobile-payments service for select Starbucks Corp. stores by the end of the year, and will reach 7,500 company-owned stores in 2016, the coffee chain said in a statement. KFC stores and Chili’s Grill & Bar will make Apple Pay available in next year as well, Jennifer Bailey, the Apple vice president in charge of the service, said at the Code/Mobile conference Thursday.

Wider adoption should give Apple Pay a much-needed boost. Lack of acceptance at various retail stores has been partly to blame for the slow rollout of the payment service. A year since its debut, it only accounts for 1 percent of all retail transactions in the U.S., according to research firm Aite Group.

Starbucks’ own mobile-payment application has been a success, accounting for 20 percent of transactions at the coffee chain’s U.S. stores. Starbucks has said it intends to make all popular payment methods available to customers. Haley Drage, a spokeswoman for the Seattle-based company, said its U.K. stores have been accepting Apple Pay for several months.

“It was received well by consumers,” she said.

Brinker International Inc., which runs Chili’s, said it plans to bring the payment system to 930 of the Tex-Mex restaurants nationwide, starting in the spring. Yum! Brands Inc., the owner of KFC, also confirmed that it’s working to offer Apple Pay at its restaurants across the U.S. in the spring of 2016.

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