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Contactless and Mobile Payments are Trending in Restaurants

January 4, 2024 | Blogs

Dining out is a way of life for many Canadians. A survey conducted in March 2022 revealed that 35% of Canadians ordered takeout at least once a week. Another study showed that Canadians spent 39% of their food budgets in restaurants in Q1 2023.

While food is always top priority, a seamless payment experience leaves a lasting impression. It keeps patrons happy and coming back for more. Whether payment happens at the counter before the food comes out, or after the last crumb of dessert, business owners need to use the latest payment technologies.

Here’s how payments will evolve in the restaurant industry in the months ahead.

Leaning into Contactless Payments

Remember when the pandemic made contactless payment a necessity for health reasons? Now we love it for the convenience. Many restaurants already use QR codes to turn smartphones into menus. The next step is to use those devices to pay.

Lines can get long in popular cafes, food halls and other quick-bite outlets during break time and lunch hour. By investing in contactless payment options, patrons rest easy, knowing they don’t need to fish around for bills or change. With contactless Point of Sale (POS) terminals or tablets, patrons can easily show their appreciation with a tap of their credit card. (Your employees will thank you for this “tip”.)

 

The Brilliance of NFC Technology

Many contactless payment options work through Near Field Communication technology, or NFC. When an NFC enabled device is held close to an NFC enabled payment terminal – about two inches or less – NFC lets those items “talk” to each other to process the transaction.

Smartphones set up with Apply Pay and Google Pay mobile wallets use NFC. So do many new contactless credit and bank cards. Tokenization on your mobile wallet replaces your actual credit card number with randomly generated numbers for every transaction. This way, your real card number is always safe and secure.

Tableside Tech

Mobile technology isn’t just showing up on the patron side of the transaction. Café and restaurant owners are using technology that serves up contactless payment options right at the table. Mobile POS terminals can process transactions and provide receipts by email – and your patrons don’t need to leave their chairs.

New end-to-end mobile payment solutions let restaurant owners turn their own tablets and phones into mobile POS terminals, too, eliminating the costs associated with POS hardware. The flexibility and mobility gained is great for food vendors that don’t have much space or serve their wares in temporary spaces. Think popup kitchens, farmers markets, food halls, and food trucks.

Most importantly, patrons love the ease and convenience. Gone are the days when a party of six had to visit the back of the restaurant one by one, or crowd the front of house to settle up their bill.

Pay by Palm

By now you might be thinking that paying from the table with a hover of your phone is the most futuristic we can get. Think again. Soon patrons might be able to pay with a swipe of their hand!

A new palm identification technology called from Amazon, called Amazon One, lets customers pay by scanning their hand over a special Amazon reader. Customers sign up in advance and create a unique palm signature, much like a fingerprint, but palm-sized. Once the patron has linked their palm print to their Amazon account, they can “pay by palm” at participating venues.

Food fans will be among the first to try the new technology, as Whole Foods Markets plans to accept payment by Amazon One at all its US stores by the end of 2023.

Payment Tech is a Worthy Indulgence

The restaurant business is competitive. When the payment experience is seamless and uncomplicated, you free up diners to focus solely on the main event: The food. Understanding what payment options are out there and how they’re evolving lets restaurants serve their patrons better.

To upgrade your payment process to give restaurant patrons and retail customers an outstanding experience, speak to one of our payment technology specialists at OTT Pay.