Mapping the Mobile Payments Landscape

Mobile payment technology is still in its relative infancy, but customers are always on the lookout for new ways to incorporate technology and convenience into their dining experiences. Looking at the restaurant mobile payment landscape, there many options for diners to pay for their meal via smartphone.

Some national chain restaurants, like Dunkin Donuts and Taco Bell, have incorporated mobile payments into their branded apps, while other apps provide payment services that cater to independent restaurants.

Here’s a look at the restaurant mobile payments landscape, and how today’s mobile payment options are benefiting diners and restaurants alike.

Virtual Wallets

The unveiling of Apple Pay and Android Pay is a big step toward seamless payments — both at the point of sale and within mobile applications. Both platforms allow diners to virtually move their cards to their mobile phones, allowing the phone to act as a mobile wallet.

At POS terminals, customers just tap or wave their phone to relay payment information instead of swiping a card. Then, restaurant mobile apps can also integrate with virtual wallets to make in-app payments quick and simple. Knowing customers crave convenience, GrubHub’s mobile app features an Android Pay button, which allows diners to instantly pay for their order with the default payment information stored within the Android Pay wallet.

Virtual wallets also promise added security through encryption and allow diners to make lightning-quick transactions, meaning less time spent processing credit cards.

Bill Splitting

Early versions of tab-splitting apps were nothing more than glorified calculators. Today, apps like Cover and Dash actually sync up with diners’ payment cards and restaurants’ POS systems to coordinate the transaction. That means your staff no longer has to handle seven credit cards for one tab with different amounts scribbled on the receipt. Instead, diners can simply invite their friends to split the tab through the app, let their server know and walk out whenever they’re ready.

Why Restaurants Are Checking Out Mobile Payments, Too

Both diners and restaurants are winning with mobile payments. Diners are afforded the convenience of paying from their phone, not fumbling for a card. And restaurants are afforded benefits including added security, lower processing fees and increased efficiency for their staff. Thanks to mobile payments, both of these customer experience benefits can have revenue-boosting implications for restaurants in the form of bigger check sizes and fatter tips. When the meal is over, restaurant mobile payments can create a seamless, stress-free dining experience for all.

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