Knife, spoon, chopsticks, fork — our tables have known a lot of utensils, but more recently another piece of hardware has found a home at dinner tables: The smartphone.
Not only have these pocket computers earned a place by your plate — sorry, Mom and Dad — they’re quickly proving they can make any dining experience more pleasant, more prompt, and more profitable for restaurants and those they feed.
A huge and growing majority of Canadians — nearly 80 percent at last count — already use smartphones. By 2025 customers will probably reach first for their phones, not their credit cards, when it comes time to pay the tab.
Here’s why you can’t afford to snub tech in favour of pen, paper and plastic.
Apps make the world go round
More than ever before, people are navigating the world with the electronic tools at their fingertips. Banking, shopping, making friends and falling in love — there’s an app for all of that. Ever feel flummoxed when you see a “cash only” sign or an analog map? You’re not alone. As mobile technology evolves, “app culture” has grown as a key social and economic force.
Today, many people don’t think twice about managing their lives with technology that, at one time, would have left them confused or concerned. Clunky machines, frustrating interfaces, and dubious software are increasingly things of the past, clearing the way for the most essential element for making mobile payments work: Trust.
For mobile payment users, the security gains are more than psychological. By removing PINs, signatures, and plastic cards from the equation, there’s already less for users to lose, less for fraudsters to steal, and fewer ways to expose sensitive information. Add to this the impressive strides in anti-fraud technology offered by certain mobile payment companies, and security soon becomes an open-and-closed question.
Money takes time, time means money
Simplifying the bill means serious bottom-line advantages to any restaurant owner concerned about their guests’ experiences or their staff’s time. (Read: every owner.)
Even with the latest credit card technologies, it can easily take ten minutes or more between the time a diner requests their bill and when they leave the restaurant after paying. To get there, they likely need a credit card machine — which may or may not be available, may or may not be reliable, and may or may not be able to read their card or connect to the network.
When large groups want to split a bill, it often involves passing one machine all around the table. With only so many machines to go around, a delightful dining experience can quickly become tedious.
Unless, of course, your restaurant already embraces mobile payments. Then, instead of seeing the payment backlog grow, you can delegate this task to an app, watch the payments come through on your merchant terminal, and wave goodbye to customers you didn’t have to herd or hurry.
And the best part? Your staff have long since moved on to welcoming your next table.
Big Loyalty, Big Data
By getting customers out the door on their schedule, mobile payments solve a key pain point— we know, because customers have told us. But what don’t we know about them?
A lot. Every day in pubs and restaurants across Canada, analog interactions take place between customers and staff, each one passing up valuable opportunities to get to know the person at the table. The more we know about them, the more we can give them what they like, and fix what they don’t.
Enter mobile payments. When a customer joins a payment app, they create a treasure trove of data you can use to better serve their needs and wants. Hot items, top-selling times, even favourite orders of individuals or groups — mobile payments carry big data opportunities.
Apply this to sophisticated loyalty programs, and you can build deeper, longer relationships with customers.
The revolution you can’t afford to ignore
Mobile technology, for most people, has become a basic tool for much of our daily lives. And with Millennials — 85 percent of the smartphone users — dining out an average of 235 times a year, it’s easy to see why mobile payments are the future – and the future is increasingly now.
Come discuss payment apps with Glance Pay at #RCshow18.
Click here to get your tickets.