Does Mcdonald’S Drive-Thru Take Apple Pay In 2023?

McDonald’s drive-thrus are convenient options for grabbing a quick meal on-the-go. If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: Yes, most McDonald’s drive-thrus do accept Apple Pay as a payment method in 2023.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about using Apple Pay at McDonald’s drive-thrus. We’ll look at which locations accept it, how to set up and use Apple Pay, any potential issues or limitations, and tips for a smooth payment experience.

Overview of McDonald’s Drive-Thru and Apple Pay

McDonald’s, the iconic fast food chain, has long been synonymous with convenience and efficiency. One of their most popular features is the drive-thru, which allows customers to order and receive their meals without ever leaving their vehicles.

This service has revolutionized the way people dine on the go, providing a quick and convenient option for those with busy lifestyles.

Brief history of McDonald’s drive-thrus

The concept of the drive-thru at McDonald’s originated in the 1970s, and it quickly gained popularity among customers who were looking for a convenient way to grab a meal. Since then, McDonald’s has expanded its drive-thru services to thousands of locations worldwide, making it a staple in the fast food industry.

Over the years, McDonald’s has continuously innovated its drive-thru experience, introducing features such as digital menu boards, order customization, and improved technology for faster service. These advancements have helped McDonald’s maintain its reputation as a leader in the fast food industry.

Growth of contactless payments like Apple Pay

In recent years, contactless payments have become increasingly popular, with Apple Pay leading the way as one of the most widely adopted mobile payment platforms. This technology allows users to make secure and convenient payments using their smartphones or other compatible devices.

The adoption of contactless payments like Apple Pay has been steadily increasing, with more and more businesses accepting this form of payment. In fact, according to a report by Statista, the global mobile payment transaction value is projected to reach over $4.7 trillion by 2023.

How Apple Pay works

Apple Pay works by utilizing near field communication (NFC) technology, which allows users to securely transmit payment information from their devices to a point of sale terminal. To make a payment with Apple Pay at a McDonald’s drive-thru, customers simply need to hold their iPhone or Apple Watch near the contactless reader and authorize the payment with their fingerprint or face recognition.

This seamless and secure payment process has made Apple Pay a popular choice among consumers, as it eliminates the need to carry physical credit or debit cards. Additionally, Apple Pay offers enhanced security features, such as tokenization, which helps protect users’ payment information from potential fraud.

As of 2023, McDonald’s drive-thrus do accept Apple Pay, providing customers with a convenient and secure payment option. So, the next time you find yourself craving a Big Mac and fries, you can rest assured that you can easily pay for your order using your iPhone or Apple Watch.

Which McDonald’s Locations Accept Apple Pay at Drive-Thrus?

If you’re wondering whether McDonald’s accepts Apple Pay at their drive-thru locations, you’ll be happy to know that the majority of corporate-owned McDonald’s in the United States do accept this convenient payment method.

This means that you can easily use your Apple Pay to purchase your favorite McDonald’s meals without having to dig for your wallet or cash.

Most corporate-owned locations in the U.S. accept it

As of 2023, most McDonald’s locations that are owned and operated by the corporation itself have implemented Apple Pay as a payment option at their drive-thrus. This makes it incredibly convenient for iPhone users who have their payment information stored in their Apple Wallet.

Simply hold your phone near the contactless payment terminal and authorize the payment with your fingerprint or Face ID, and you’re good to go!

Franchise locations may vary

While most corporate-owned McDonald’s locations accept Apple Pay, it’s important to note that franchise locations may have different policies when it comes to payment methods. Franchisees have some autonomy in deciding which payment options they support, so it’s possible that not all McDonald’s drive-thrus will accept Apple Pay.

To be sure, it’s always a good idea to check with the specific franchise location you plan to visit.

Check for contactless payment logo or ask cashier to confirm

If you’re unsure whether a McDonald’s drive-thru accepts Apple Pay, there are a couple of ways to find out. First, look for the contactless payment logo on the drive-thru menu board or the payment terminal. This logo indicates that Apple Pay and other contactless payment methods are accepted.

If you don’t see the logo, you can also ask the cashier directly to confirm whether they accept Apple Pay.

List of states where it’s commonly accepted

While Apple Pay is accepted at many McDonald’s drive-thru locations across the United States, it’s worth noting that there may be some regional variations. However, you can typically find Apple Pay acceptance at McDonald’s drive-thrus in states such as California, New York, Texas, Florida, and Illinois.

Keep in mind that this list is not exhaustive, and Apple Pay acceptance may vary even within these states.

If you’re looking for the most up-to-date information on which McDonald’s locations accept Apple Pay at their drive-thrus, it’s always a good idea to visit the official McDonald’s website or use their mobile app.

These resources often provide information on accepted payment methods for individual restaurants, ensuring that you can enjoy the convenience of using Apple Pay at your favorite fast-food chain.

How to Pay with Apple Pay at McDonald’s Drive-Thru

Requirements: iPhone 6 or newer, Apple Watch, etc.

In order to use Apple Pay at McDonald’s Drive-Thru, you will need a compatible device. This includes an iPhone 6 or newer, an Apple Watch, or any other Apple device that supports Apple Pay. If you have one of these devices, you are ready to start using Apple Pay at McDonald’s.

Enable Apple Pay feature

The first step to paying with Apple Pay at McDonald’s Drive-Thru is to enable the Apple Pay feature on your device. Simply open the Wallet app on your iPhone or the Watch app on your Apple Watch and follow the instructions to add your credit or debit card to Apple Pay.

Hover phone over payment terminal when prompted

Once you have your card added to Apple Pay, it’s time to make a purchase at McDonald’s Drive-Thru. When you reach the payment window, the cashier will prompt you to pay. Simply hover your iPhone or Apple Watch over the payment terminal and wait for the transaction to be processed.

Use fingerprint or Face ID for authentication

After hovering your device over the payment terminal, you may be prompted to authenticate the transaction. If using an iPhone with Touch ID, place your finger on the Touch ID sensor. If using an iPhone with Face ID, simply look at your device to authenticate the payment.

This extra layer of security ensures that your payment is safe and secure.

It’s important to note that not all McDonald’s locations may accept Apple Pay at their drive-thru. It’s always a good idea to check with your local McDonald’s or visit their official website for the most up-to-date information on payment options available.

Tips for Seamless Apple Pay Experience at Drive-Thru

Have your phone ready before reaching pay window

To ensure a smooth and efficient Apple Pay experience at the McDonald’s drive-thru, it is recommended to have your phone ready before reaching the pay window. This means unlocking your phone, opening the Apple Wallet app, and selecting the card you want to use for payment.

By being prepared in advance, you can save time and avoid any delays in the drive-thru line.

Add your McDonald’s app loyalty card to Apple Wallet

If you’re a frequent McDonald’s customer, it’s a good idea to add your McDonald’s app loyalty card to your Apple Wallet. This way, you can easily earn and redeem rewards using Apple Pay at the drive-thru.

Simply open the McDonald’s app, go to the “My Account” section, and select the option to add your card to the Apple Wallet. This will streamline the payment process and allow you to take full advantage of the benefits offered by the McDonald’s app.

Troubleshooting tips if it doesn’t work

If you encounter any issues with Apple Pay at the McDonald’s drive-thru, there are a few troubleshooting tips you can try. First, make sure that your iPhone is running on the latest version of iOS and that your Apple Wallet is up to date.

Additionally, check that your Apple Pay settings are properly configured and that your payment card is valid and not expired. If the issue persists, you can reach out to Apple Support or the McDonald’s customer service for further assistance.

Using Apple Pay for McDonald’s app orders

Apple Pay can also be used for placing orders through the McDonald’s app. This convenient feature allows you to order and pay for your meal ahead of time, making the drive-thru experience even faster. Simply select the items you want, customize your order, and choose Apple Pay as your payment method.

When you arrive at the drive-thru, let the McDonald’s team know that you have a mobile order, and they will have it ready for pickup. It’s a great way to save time and skip the line!

Future Outlook for Apple Pay at McDonald’s

In recent years, contactless payment methods such as Apple Pay have gained significant popularity as consumers seek faster and more convenient ways to complete transactions. With the increasing demand for contactless payments, it is highly likely that McDonald’s will embrace this trend and expand their acceptance of Apple Pay in the coming years.

Expected increase in contactless payments

The use of contactless payment methods is projected to continue its upward trend, with more and more consumers opting for the convenience and security it offers. According to a study by eMarketer, contactless payment usage is expected to grow by 24.8% in 2023.

This indicates a strong preference for this payment method, making it highly likely that McDonald’s will cater to this demand by accepting Apple Pay.

Potential nationwide rollout in U.S.

While McDonald’s has already started accepting Apple Pay in select locations, there is a possibility of a nationwide rollout in the United States. As one of the largest fast-food chains in the country, McDonald’s is constantly looking for ways to enhance the customer experience.

By accepting Apple Pay nationwide, McDonald’s would not only cater to the growing number of Apple Pay users but also streamline the payment process for all customers.

Integration with self-order kiosks expected

Another potential development is the integration of Apple Pay with McDonald’s self-order kiosks. These kiosks have become increasingly prevalent in McDonald’s restaurants, allowing customers to place their orders and make payments without the need for traditional cashiers.

By integrating Apple Pay into these kiosks, McDonald’s would further enhance the speed and convenience of the ordering process, providing customers with a seamless experience.

It is important to note that while the future outlook for Apple Pay at McDonald’s seems promising, it is always recommended to check with your local McDonald’s to confirm their acceptance of Apple Pay.

As technology continues to evolve, it is possible that additional payment options may become available at McDonald’s, offering customers even more choices when it comes to completing their transactions.


Apple Pay provides a fast, convenient way to pay at McDonald’s drive-thrus without reaching for your wallet. As more locations add support for contactless payments, using Apple Pay at McDonald’s drive-thrus will only become more commonplace.

Keep an eye out for your local McDonald’s adding Apple Pay indicators to make grabbing your Big Mac on-the-go even easier.

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