KFC and Chili’s restaurants will begin accepting Apple Pay in 2016, Apple (AAPL) Vice President Jennifer Bailey said Thursday at the Re/code technology conference in Half Moon Bay, Calif.
Starbucks (SBUX) coffee shops will also begin accepting Apple’s mobile payment system in a pilot program starting this year. Best Buy (BBY) is also adding Apple Pay support.
Separately, Delta (DAL) has updated its Fly Delta app to include Apple Pay support, allowing users to purchase tickets using the system.
The expansion of the service gives Apple a chance to tie customers more tightly to its phones and its smart watch, as well as to take a tiny bite from every retail transaction.
Apple launched the payment service a year ago and has said 2015 would be the “year of Apple Pay” as it aggressively courts retailers.
But interviews by Reuters with analysts, merchants and others have suggested that Apple’s forecast may have been too optimistic and that many retailers remain skeptical about the payment system.
Customer demand for mobile wallets has been slow, and analysts agree that they remain a tiny percentage of U.S. retail transactions.
Brinker International (EAT) owns the Chili’s restaurant brand, while KFC is operated by Yum! Brands (YUM).