Benefits of mobile payments options at restaurants

For an entrepreneur starting a restaurant, there are a host of considerations and facets to oversee. From crafting the menu and hand picking the freshest ingredients to designing the layout and marketing the restaurant, owning your own restaurant requires careful and considerate tactics in managing your small business. One emerging trend that restaurateurs need to be aware of is the multitude of options for payment processing available for them to choose from. More and more companies are providing point of sale terminals that move away from traditional cash registers to take advantage of increasingly innovative technologies. Chief among these are mobile payments that leverage the ubiquity of smartphones among consumers in this day and age. These phones can be linked with debit and credit cards or bank accounts to provide customers with a quick and seamless way of paying for transactions and services.

Along with making life easier for consumers, there are a host of benefits for small business owners and restaurateurs. Detroit News notes that many of the startups offering mobile payments services feature lower swipe fees for debit and credit cards than traditional formats. Additionally, the benefits in speed and convenience to the consumer are relevant to the small business owner as well. A smoother and more seamless payment process allows for quicker turnover of customers, resulting in shorter lines and more transactions.

Finally, the demand from consumers suggests that small business owners could be alienating or risking the ire of their customers by not providing such payment processing options. According to Nation’s Restaurant News, the value of worldwide payment transactions will rise by 61.9 percent this year, to $171 billion. Between now and 2016, the market for such payments is expected to grow by 42 percent each year. By 2016, the market is projected to be worth $617 billion, with 448 million users opting for mobile payments as their sole method of transactions.

Small business owners would be wise to get in on this trend now before it really takes off. While there is a variety of options available to restaurateurs, many of them feature similar infrastructures. Detroit News reports that these systems generally include a free card reader that can be plugged into smartphones or tablet devices. Customers can then swipe their cards and take care of everything digitally, from signing the receipt to leaving a tip. Here are some options of mobile payments available to restaurateurs today.

Square was able to get a significant head start and leg up on its competition by agreeing to a deal with Starbucks, the world’s largest coffee chain. According to Nation’s Restaurant News, Square is available at approximately 7,000 Starbucks locations nationwide, with plans in the foreseeable future to be rolled out to all locations worldwide.

There are numerous features to Square that can benefit both retailers and customers. According to Restaurant Engine, Square offers a free card reader and related apps, along with a low price of 2.75 percent per swipe. Next-day deposits and electronic tracking and confirmation of all receipts grants restaurateurs peace of mind in knowing that their money is being taken care of. Additionally, the Square Register mobile application not only features basic capabilities such as inputting new menu items or managing multiple devices, but also advanced features such as tracking analytics. Gaining access to in-depth and specific data allows small business owners to track every aspect of their operations for better future planning.

Mobuyle, developed by Heartland Payment Systems, is one of the industry’s first secure mobile payments options designed with restaurants in mind. According to Mobile Payments Today, the application is available for Apple iOS and Android mobile devices. The package features a Mobuyle Encrypting Card Reader that can be plugged into any of the aforementioned devices.

“Restaurant merchants need payment acceptance capabilities from just about anywhere, and Heartland is leading the charge in providing a secure and comprehensive mobile payment acceptance solution,” Mike English, executive director of product development for Heartland, told the news source. “By accepting credit, debit and gift card payments through Apple iOS mobile devices, Mobuyle enables restaurateurs and their staff to enhance the overall customer experience.”

One of the biggest benefits is that restaurants with iPads embedded right at the table will allow customers to pay without needing servers to go back and forth and process the transaction, the news source reports. Additionally, store and forward functionality allows the acceptance of payments even without cellular coverage or WiFi access. This makes Mobuyle a perfect option for catering or delivery services, providing a wide range of services to small business owners.

Whichever option you go with, mobile payments for small businesses are here to stay. Has your small business thought about going with mobile payments?

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Chelsea Segal

Chelsea Segal

Chelsea Segal is the CEO of Targetwise. TARGETWISE empowers agencies, brands + marketers with results-oriented solutions that grow, nurture + maintain a social ecosphere.

Neutralizing all digital channels, we accelerate performance by applying data driven optimizationin real-time across a superior blend of mobile, video,display and email inventory. Converting the right people at the right time, we drive brand solutions, while securing optimal impact, engagement + results.
Chelsea Segal