Good News, Bad News: Dunkin’ Donuts Now Takes Apple Pay

As Thanksgiving approached through the United States, we were first introduced to the Dunkin’ Donuts mobile payment system.

Then undergoing tests, the Dunkin’ Donuts app allowed for advance orders of food and drink, and in Dallas, it was connected to a delivery system. Now, a new report puts Dunkin’ Donuts on the newest list of firms that accept Apple Pay, and for Dunkin’, that’s a good news / bad news sort of setup.

The good news is that this is one more way for customers to fuel up on Dunkin’, and for Dunkin’ Donuts, any way for customers to buy more donuts is a good way. With Apple Pay, users boasting iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus devices can use the platform at the store, without requiring cash or cards to pay for orders.

Dunkin’ Brands’ vice president for global consumer engagement, Scott Hudler, noted that this represented “…an important step in our ongoing commitment to leverage the best technologies to help busy, on-the-go people enjoy our full menu of coffees, donuts and sandwiches any time of day, more quickly and conveniently than ever.”

On a certain level, this is good news for Dunkin’ Donuts. It encourages Apple Pay users to pick up some donuts with their platform of choice, assuming that platform isn’t already the Dunkin’ mobile app, and gives users that little extra bit of choice to buy donuts.

In the end, it’s all about how many crullers et al Dunkin’ can move out the door, and anything that helps make that happen is worth considering. Additionally, since Starbucks offers Apple Pay access, for Dunkin’ Donuts—a major competitor to Starbucks—to not offer such access itself is a competitive disadvantage.

Yet there’s the clear potential for this to go wrong, and in a big way, for Dunkin’ Donuts. We know from recent reports that a lot of people are starting to feel a bit of option overload when it comes to mobile payments, as a study from Bain and Company found users were only willing to use about two or three apps total before turning to cards to make payments.

Granted, the special loyalty bonuses that can be had with a company’s specific app could be helpful, but if people are already getting Dunkin’ Donuts with Apple Pay, how many will switch to the Dunkin’ mobile app instead? Many of those users could end up cutting out the middleman, using Apple Pay outright, and that could well cost the Dunkin’ app the Apple user base.

However, there’s one great potential saving grace for Dunkin’ Donuts, and that’s what’s going on in Dallas: the delivery option. If Dunkin’ can get the delivery option in play throughout the country, then there’s a reason to use the app even with Apple Pay available as an option.

While Apple Pay could be used in the stores, users would need to turn to the app to get delivery options, and that might be enough to elevate the app to more frequently-used status.

Dunkin’ Donuts shoppers have plenty of options when it comes to making payments and getting hands on those sweet treats that help make a day dawn just a little brighter. While Apple Pay may not prove the hindrance some think it might be, in the end, it helps get donuts in hand and may make Dunkin’ run just a little better as a result.

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