Tap Apple Watch to buy UAE McDonald's meal

Fast food meets faster payments, right here in Dubai.

Credit cardholders will soon be able to use a range of devices – including contactless cards, mobile phones, and other NFC-enabled wearable products, including the soon-to-be-launched Apple Watch – to pay for their meals at McDonald’s restaurants in the UAE.

MasterCard and McDonald’s today announced a strategic collaboration to introduce e-payment solutions at McDonald’s restaurants in UAE and across other key markets in the Middle East and Africa.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is set to unveil its smart watch (unimaginatively known as Apple Watch) tomorrow, and all users will have to do is enter a passcode or unlock their Apple Watch with their iPhones to use Apple Pay, Eddy Cue, head of iTunes, Apple Pay and Apple’s other Internet software and services businesses let it known recently.

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Using the passcode to use Apple Pay through Apple Watch is exactly the same as using it to pay through iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, and you’ll need to sync it up with a working and willing credit card for the transaction to go through.

“This integration of MasterCard’s state-of-the-art smart payment technologies across our restaurants will accept all major credit cards, and will add to our customers’ convenience and ease of accessibility,” said Yousif Abdulghani, ‎Vice President & International Relationship Partner at McDonald's Middle East Development Company.

In a media statement, the firms said that McDonald’s customers will soon be able to swipe, insert or even tap their payment solutions to pay for purchases.

How Apple Pay works on the latest iPhone models (iPhone 6 and 6 Plus) is that it allows users to tap their smartphone to payment terminals and then touch their devices’ TouchID fingerprint sensors to conclude a transaction.

For such a ‘handshake’ to work between the smartphones and the terminals, both must have near-field communication (NFC) chips that store payment credentials. Since Apple launched NFC only in its latest iPhone models, only iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus-owners can currently make the transactions.

With tomorrow’s launch of the Apple Watch, however, even those with older versions (starting iPhone 5) will be able to make contactless payments through the Apple Watch platform.

“Teaming up with McDonald’s is a great opportunity for us to offer consumers innovative payment options that are safe, simple and secure,” added Raghu Malhotra, Division President, Middle East and North Africa, MasterCard.

Starting with the UAE and select regional markets, the in-store and online payment technologies will be rolled out in phases in all McDonald’s restaurants across the Middle East and Africa, it noted.

In addition, MasterCard’s digital wallet solution, MasterPass, will be available for McDonald’s online ordering in countries where the option is available, it said.

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