Mobile payment acceptance is becoming more commonplace in restaurants. National Restaurant Association research found 43 percent of quick service and 31 percent of fast casual restaurants accept mobile payments. The future of mobile payments in restaurants is expected to bring even more widespread acceptance. In Hospitality Technology magazine’s 2016 POS Software Trends survey 58 percent of respondents named mobile wallet as the “top functionality” for inclusion in their next point of sale (POS) upgrade.
There are three factors driving future of mobile payments toward increased adoption:
- EMV. Many restaurants upgrading their technology to accept EMV chip card payments also gain the ability to accept payments via near field communication (NFC) — the technology behind mobile wallets such as Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Android Pay, and Google Wallet. Many models of the new card readers restaurants are using accept both types of payments, and customers who use mobile wallets are realizing it’s a quicker alternative to dipping chip cards into a card reader. All they need to do is unlock their phone or open an app and hold their phone near the reader to make a payment. The future of mobile payments will also see growth as consumers realize these types of transactions are highly secure — their phones use technology that tokenizes payment card data rather than storing it in readable form.
- Increased deployment of pay-at-the-table technology. Pay-at-the-table solutions provide restaurant customers with the convenience of settling their checks quickly and easily. Mobile wallets make the process even easier. Mobile POS solutions that accept mobile wallet payments enable guests to simply use their smartphones to make payments. Paying with a mobile wallet eliminates having to hand a payment card to a server and, in some cases, it may even facilitate tipping.
- Emergence of more mobile wallet options. The roster of mobile wallets available continues to grow. Since the launch of Apple Pay, followed by Android Pay and Samsung Pay, bank-specific solutions, such as Chase Pay from JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo’s Wells Fargo Wallet for Android were introduced. To compete for consumers’ loyalty, mobile wallets continue to roll out additional features to make more appealing, such as integration with loyalty programs, the ability to store digital offers, options to pay from within apps, enhanced security, spending reports, and even discounts and rewards.
As restaurants’ ability to accept mobile wallet payments increases, consumer use may need a little more time to catch up — not all smartphones currently in use can support all types of mobile wallets. Android Pay, for example, is only available on phones that run Android 4.4 and has an NFC chip. As more consumers upgrade their phones to models that can support mobile wallets, the number of consumers who try and subsequently adopt mobile payments should increase. According to IHS Technology, shipments of smartphones that support NFC technology will increase to 2.2 billion by 2020, suggesting growth in adoption is in the near future of mobile payments.
A part of providing a great customer experience is giving diners the option to use the payment method of their choice. As you plan upgrades to your POS system, consider solutions that allow you to accept mobile payments so you can provide your customers with that option and you will have the technology in place to be ready for whatever the future of mobile payments brings.