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Fast food giant McDonald's is nearly ready to join the digital age. Business Insider reports that the international burger slinger is finally ready to launch its long-awaited mobile order-and-pay technology for smartphone users. The app is set to be unveiled in 2017 in the US and select international markets, including Australia, Canada, France, and the UK, with the service reaching customers at up to 25,000 restaurants worldwide by 2018.
The company has lagged behind other chains in terms of developing its mobile options. Companies such as Starbucks, Domino's, and Taco Bell have seen boosts in sales due to mobile apps with order-and-pay options and loyalty programs. The Chick-Fil-A app also saw major consumer engagement when it launched a mobile app with a loyalty program and mobile order-and-pay options last summer.
McDonald's alluded to future mobile-and-pay upgrades when it launched a more limited version of its app in 2015. The company has previously tested that technology at 22 locations in Columbus, Georgia, and last March was reportedly poised to begin testing the mobile ordering system in select US markets.
McDonald's has been experimenting with technology in ways beyond mobile apps, though. The Golden Arches began testing touchscreen "Create Your Own Taste" menus at select locations in 2014. While the McCustomization option had initially gained traction within the company, the chain has decided to instate a more permanent "Signature Crafted Recipes" menu.