McDonald's to Accept Credit Cards

McDonald's wants to make your fast food even faster by letting you put a burger and fries on your credit card.

Card processing equipment will be installed beginning next year, and up to a quarter of McDonald's 13,300 U.S. restaurants should get the technology by the middle of 2003, a spokesman said Tuesday.

"It is ultimately about speed of service," spokesman Bill Whitman said. "The target for service time is 90 seconds or less, and this is going to shave some time off of that."

The move was first reported in The Wall Street Journal.

Introducing credit cards at McDonald's has taken longer than it has for other industries because of concerns that cards could slow service. McDonald's tested numerous cashless options for at least two years.

McDonald's said that with the technology it is installing, a customer should be able to place an order, swipe his or her credit card and get approval in four to five seconds, with no signature needed.

That is about half the time of a cash transaction.