I love Wendy's Dave's Hot 'n Juicy 3/4 lb Triple burger as much as the next Neanderthal, especially after riding 50 miles in the rain. And I love mobile payments because while I often leave my wallet at home, I'm Strava-ing the ride so I always have my phone.

Now while Wendy's mobile payments app has the potential to make it easier to eat burgers on the road, it's getting bashed in the app store. And it has one more annoying problem that I'd like to focus on here: I have to read off a six-digit code for a counter clerk to enter to make it work. While reading off a code to inhale a burger when starving may not sound like much, it's harder than swiping a debit card, so it ain't easy enough.

In our research for The Mobile Mind Shift, we found that what matters most is delivering a great mobile moment — a point in time and space when someone pulls out a mobile device to get something they want in their immediate context. Getting the mobile moment right is critical to being present in the small and important moments in your customers' lives. Two principles define a great mobile moment:

  1. Deliver huge customer benefit and value to the firm. If the moment isn't hugely beneficial to a consumer, then the mobile moment won't exist at all. The app must do something truly useful it won't earn a place on the screen.
  2. Use context to make it one-touch easy. Use physical and personal context to anticipate your customer's next most likely action and make it available through a single gesture. That means firms like Wendy's must marshal all their resources — including the complex payment ecosystem and the point-of-sale systems — to deliver a great and simple service in that mobile moment . . . with no extra steps. Uber is the poster child for one-touch easy. So is Starbucks. And Dunkin' Donuts.

So dear Wendy's, as much as I love Dave's triple burger, reading off that pesky code is just annoying enough for me to keep my phone in my pocket.