Does Popeyes Accept Apple Pay? The Complete Guide for iPhone Users and Fried Chicken Lovers

If you‘re a devoted iPhone user and also happen to love the crave-worthy Cajun flavors of Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, we‘ve got good news: You can now satiate your fried chicken cravings and pay with a tap of your iPhone or Apple Watch, because Popeyes does accept Apple Pay!

Popeyes quietly rolled out Apple Pay support at its 2,700+ U.S. locations back in 2019, following the lead of other major fast food chains like McDonald‘s and Chick-fil-A in embracing the convenience of contactless mobile payments.

In this comprehensive guide, we‘ll walk you through everything you need to know about using Apple Pay at Popeyes, from step-by-step instructions to insider tips for maximizing your benefits. We‘ll also dive into some juicy data on the meteoric rise of Apple Pay, and what it means for the future of fast food.

Setting the Table: The State of Mobile Payments

Before we jump into the specifics of using Apple Pay at Popeyes, let‘s set the stage with some context on the rapidly evolving world of mobile payments.

Since Apple Pay launched in 2014, it‘s steadily gained traction and transformed the way we pay for everything from our morning coffee to our late-night fast food fixes. The concept is simple yet revolutionary: using near-field communication (NFC) technology, your iPhone or Apple Watch can securely transmit payment info to a contactless terminal, letting you check out with a single tap. No more fumbling for cash or cards.

The benefits of this touchless tap-and-go payment method became even more apparent during the Covid-19 pandemic, as consumers prioritized health, safety and social distancing. In Q3 2022, Apple CEO Tim Cook reported that Apple Pay transactions more than doubled year-over-year, as the pandemic accelerated the shift away from cash to digital and mobile options.

Just how big is Apple Pay now? According to Apple‘s latest numbers:

  • Apple Pay is now accepted at over 90% of U.S. retailers
  • 75% of all U.S. consumers have used a mobile payment platform
  • There are over 500 million Apple Pay users globally
  • 90% of U.S. retailers now accept Apple Pay
  • Apple Pay accounts for 10% of all global card transactions

With stats like these, it‘s clear that Apple Pay and mobile payments are no longer a niche trend, but a mainstream phenomenon that‘s transforming commerce as we know it. And the restaurant industry is no exception.

Why Restaurants are Hungry for Apple Pay

For fast food giants like Popeyes, Apple Pay represents more than just another payment option – it‘s a strategic tool for enhancing the customer experience, streamlining operations and boosting brand loyalty in an increasingly mobile-centric world.

Adoption has accelerated in recent years as major chains upgrading their point-of-sale systems and digital capabilities. McDonald‘s, for example, has accepted Apple Pay since 2014, while Chick-Fil-A rolled it out in 2016. According to a recent study by PYMNTS and BitPay, 57% of fast food chains now take Apple Pay.

What‘s driving this industry-wide shift? There are a few key factors at play:

  1. Speed and convenience. With Apple Pay, guests can check out in seconds with a quick tap of their iPhone or Apple Watch. This means faster moving lines, less waiting and happier customers. For mobile orders, Apple Pay also eliminates the need to manually enter card details.

  2. Enhanced security. Apple Pay transactions are tokenized and encrypted, making them far more secure than traditional swipe or chip cards. Fraud prevention is a major benefit for restaurants.

  3. Improved hygiene. Even in a post-pandemic world, many consumers now prefer touchless payment options for health reasons. Contactless options like Apple Pay eliminate the need for cash or card handling.

  4. Higher spend. According to a PYMNTS.com study, the average Apple Pay transaction at quick-service restaurants was 16.3% higher than those using other payment methods, likely due to ease of use.

  5. Customer loyalty. Accepting Apple Pay signals a commitment to tech-savvy customers and helps restaurants connect with a valuable demographic. With brand integrations like Apple Card and a growing user base, acceptance is becoming table stakes.

Popeyes‘ 2019 decision to embrace Apple Pay was smart and strategic, allowing the chain to ride the rising tide of mobile payment adoption. By doing so, they‘ve laid the foundation for a more frictionless, future-proof customer experience.

Your Step-by-Step Guide to Using Apple Pay at Popeyes

Ready to get your hands on that chicken sandwich faster? Here‘s a step-by-step rundown of how to pay with Apple Pay at a Popeyes restaurant:

  1. Set up Apple Pay on your device. To use Apple Pay on your iPhone, open the Wallet app and tap the + sign to add a credit or debit card. On the Apple Watch, open the Watch app on your phone and follow the prompts. Rest assured that your actual card number will never be shared with Popeyes – just a unique Device Account Number.

  2. Look for the Apple Pay or contactless symbol. At Popeyes, the tap-to-pay sensor is typically located on the payment terminal. You can also check if Apple Pay is accepted before ordering to avoid any confusion.

  3. Initiate payment. When you‘re ready to pay, double-click the side button on your iPhone or Apple Watch to activate Apple Pay. Authenticate the transaction with Face ID, Touch ID or your passcode.

  4. Hold your device near the reader. Next, simply hold the top of your iPhone or the display of your Apple Watch within a few inches of the contactless reader until you feel a gentle vibration. You don‘t need to open Wallet or wake your device.

  5. Wait for confirmation. Once the payment is complete, you‘ll see "Done" and a checkmark on your device‘s screen. The Popeyes payment terminal will also show confirmation that the transaction went through. Note that you don‘t need to sign or enter a PIN.

That‘s it! Paying with Apple Pay at Popeyes is a breeze once you get the hang of it. But there are a few extra tips worth keeping in mind…

Pro Tips for Using Apple Pay at Popeyes

While using Apple Pay at Popeyes is fairly straightforward, there are a few insider tips and tricks that can make your experience even smoother:

  • No spending limits. Unlike some other fast food chains, Popeyes doesn‘t impose a transaction limit for Apple Pay. So whether you‘re getting a 3-piece combo or catering for the office, you can tap to your heart‘s content.

  • Get 3% cash back with Apple Card. If you have an Apple Card and use it with Apple Pay at Popeyes, you‘ll score unlimited 3% Daily Cash on your purchase. Those rewards can really add up if you‘re a frequent fryer.

  • Earn Popeyes rewards. While Popeyes doesn‘t yet have a loyalty program integrated with Apple Pay, you can still score points by scanning your Popeyes Rewards barcode separately. Maybe someday we‘ll be able to triple-dip with Apple Pay, Apple Card and loyalty!

  • Use it for any order type. Apple Pay works for in-store, drive-thru and pickup orders at Popeyes. For app and web orders, simply choose the "Buy with Apple Pay" button at checkout.

  • Keep an eye out for promos. Apple occasionally runs exclusive promotions for using Apple Pay at select restaurants. In 2021, for example, they offered $1 sandwiches at Popeyes for a limited time.

What About Other Mobile Wallets?

Apple Pay may be the most popular mobile wallet, but it‘s not the only game in town. Popeyes also accepts a few other contactless payment methods, including:

  • Google Pay: Works similarly to Apple Pay but for Android devices. Accepted at most U.S. Popeyes locations.
  • Samsung Pay: Samsung‘s mobile wallet is unique in that it works at terminals that accept traditional swipe cards, in addition to NFC. Available at some Popeyes, but not as widely as Apple Pay or Google Pay.

Usage of these mobile wallets is growing, but still lags behind Apple Pay. According to a 2022 report by Pulse, 84% of mobile payment users have Apple Pay, followed by 31% for Google Pay and 19% for Samsung Pay.

The Future of Paying at Popeyes

As digital payment options continue to evolve and gain steam, it‘s worth considering what the future might hold for Popeyes and its tech-savvy customers. Here are a few possibilities:

  • Loyalty program integration. Many experts predict that the next frontier for mobile wallets is deeper integration with loyalty programs and personalized offers. Imagine being able to earn and redeem rewards points automatically with each Apple Pay tap at Popeyes.

  • More payment options. As cryptocurrency and QR code payments gain popularity, Popeyes may explore accepting new digital payment methods alongside Apple Pay to cater to different preferences. Platforms like Venmo and Cash App are also becoming players in the in-store payment space.

  • Improved in-app experience. The Popeyes app may expand its Apple Pay integration to include features like order tracking, customization and exclusive deals, making it an even more seamless experience.

  • Contactless kiosks. We may see a rise in self-service ordering kiosks at Popeyes that allow customers to tap to pay with Apple Pay, further streamlining the ordering process and reducing lines.

While the specifics may evolve, it‘s clear that mobile payments are here to stay at Popeyes and beyond. Restaurant chains that embrace this shift and continue to innovate on the digital front will be well-positioned to meet the needs of today‘s mobile-first customers.

The Bottom Line

So, does Popeyes take Apple Pay? The answer is a resounding yes. Whether you‘re team spicy or mild, you can now skip the wallet and pay for your chicken fix with a quick double-click and tap of your iPhone or Apple Watch.

With the rapid rise of mobile payment adoption, especially in the wake of Covid-19, Popeyes‘ decision to accept Apple Pay was a smart and strategic move. By meeting customers where they are (on their smartphones) and offering a faster, safer and more convenient payment experience, the chicken chain is well-positioned for the increasingly digital future of fast food.

As a frequent Popeyes customer and mobile payment enthusiast, I highly recommend giving Apple Pay a try the next time you‘re craving that crispy Cajun goodness. And if you really want to maximize your bang for your buck, consider snagging the Apple Card to score 3% cash back on every Popeyes transaction. With the right tools and know-how, you‘ll be tapping and enjoying in no time.