Commentary

Adding Mobile Payments to the Restaurant Menu

While various approaches to mobile payments continue, the questions remains if there will be a primary driver.

It’s not like consumers have been waiting with baited breath for years to be able to replace cash and credit card payments by using their phone.

Now along comes a study that indicates that quick service restaurants may be one of the places where mobile payments take hold.

The research found that many consumers are more likely to use technology in restaurants today than two years ago.

The study was conducted by ORC International for the National Restaurant Association and comprised a survey 1,000 U.S. consumers.

When asked why they don’t use technology now, half said they prefer dealing with people rather than the technology.

As little surprise, some also said they don’t know how to use the mobile technology or their favorite restaurants don’t offer it.

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All of this of this is in the context of most people having smartphones, although most of the restaurant-related usage is around searching for deals, looking at menus and checking reviews.

One of the reasons quick service restaurants are adopting mobile payments is the speed of transactions, with an eye to moving more people through the lines or drive-through more quickly, which is money to the bottom line.

While mobile payment approaches differ, such as those by Apple Pay and the Merchant Customer Exchange’s CurrentC, the consumer experience is essentially the same.

They use their phone to pay, by tapping it to a device or showing or reading a code via the phone screen.

The likely best cases for success are in places where there are recurring transactions, as in the Starbucks model.

We’ll soon see if that works in restaurants as well.
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