Thanks to behind-the-scenes work, a number of major U.S. restaurant chains like Quiznos, Smashburger, and MOD Pizza will start offering Apple Pay-connected loyalty cards "later this year," according to an announcement.
The development is a result of plans by cloud platform Punchh to add Apple Pay to its mobile app. The company handles marketing for over 85 chains, some other examples being Pielogy, El Pollo Loco, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, and Moe's Southwest Grill.
At supporting restaurants, iPhone owners will be prompted at checkout to add a chain's loyalty card to their iOS Wallet app. Apple Pay transactions should then automatically generate points and/or special offers, where supported.
The announcement may signal further expansion of Apple Pay as whole, since none of the above restaurants are highlighted on Apple's "Where to Use" page.
To encourage adoption of the platform, Apple is running an event in San Francisco this weekend which will offer bonuses and discounts for people shopping at certain stores. With iOS 11, coming this fall, people will be able to make person-to-person money transfers.
Spreading Apple Pay has a twofold benefit to Apple. On top of it encouraging people to use its hardware, the company earns a small fee from each transaction, which can translate into millions of dollars on a wide scale.