How Restaurants Can Optimize Mobile Wallet Transactions with Pay-at-the-Table

February 19, 2024
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Over 60% of Gen Zers and 51% of millennials reported spending more money using digital wallets.

Imagine the discomfort of handing over your phone to a server who takes it out of sight to process your payment. It is not only awkward but also raises concerns about privacy and security. The thought of your pictures, texts, and personal information disappearing with a server as they head toward the POS can be frightening. Recently, one of our team members experienced this scenario at a popular national chain restaurant, highlighting the need for restaurants to adopt pay-at-the-table methods when processing popular mobile wallet technologies like Apple Pay and Google Pay.

The Rise of Mobile Wallet Technologies:

According to recent studies, over 60% of Gen Zers and 51% of millennials reported spending more money using digital wallets. Additionally, 41% of Gen Xers and 28% of baby boomers were also observed to be embracing this payment method more each year. These figures demonstrate a clear trend towards the adoption of mobile wallets. But what exactly are mobile wallets and how do they work?

The functionality of mobile wallets is straightforward: when a phone and a payment terminal are in close proximity, their communication is facilitated by near field communication (NFC). Mobile wallets, including the most popular ones like Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, and Google Pay, allow guests to store their payment information securely on their smartphones and access it to complete a purchase on an NFC terminal. In contrast to physical credit cards, consumers only need to hover their smartphones (with the mobile wallet app open) over the payment terminal. There's no need to swipe with a magstripe, tap, or even enter a PIN. This "contactless" payment is usually processed in seconds.

Given the enhanced security and efficiency benefits, mobile wallets are increasingly favored among diners. To further enhance this, restaurants can optimize the process by accepting mobile wallets directly at the table, rather than at the traditional point of sale. This approach ensures that guests' phones or cards remain within their sight throughout the transaction, providing a smoother and more secure payment process.

Benefits of Adopting Mobile Wallet

  1. Enhanced Guest Experience: Mobile wallets streamline the payment process, allowing customers to pay quickly and effortlessly. With just a few taps on their smartphones on a pay-at-the-table tablet, guests can complete transactions, eliminating the need for cash or physical credit cards. This convenience can significantly enhance customer satisfaction, potentially leading to repeat business and positive word-of-mouth.
  2. Improved Efficiency: Adopting mobile wallets and leveraging cutting-edge restaurant technology can significantly decrease the time invested in processing traditional transactions at the POS. This efficiency translates into shorter wait times, allowing staff members to serve more guests.
  3. Enhanced Security: Mobile wallets utilize advanced encryption and authentication methods, providing a higher level of security compared to traditional payment methods. This helps reduce the risk associated with fraud and data breaches. Guests appreciate knowing they have a more secure option of payment when dining at their favorite restaurants.

    While some may still have security concerns, mobile credit card processing stands out as one of the safest payment methods. The app encrypts the credit card and secures it behind the phone's features. Unlocking the phone is necessary to access the mobile wallet, ensuring only authorized users can make payments. This offers peace of mind and facilitates secure, convenient payments at the table.
  4. Fast Payments. A contactless payment transaction saves your guests and servers valuable time when settling up the check. There’s no need to make change with cash or punch in a PIN with a card. Mobile payments are one of the quickest ways to pay a restaurant bill, making them a preferred choice for time-conscious diners.
  5. Convenience. In our increasingly cashless society, people are seeking efficient solutions for their daily routines. For those who forget their wallets or prefer to not carry cash or credit cards, they can now enjoy a dining experience with just their mobile phone. Mobile wallets stand out as one of the easiest and most convenient pay-at-the-table options for guests.


Fees and Integration:

Restaurant owners often wonder about the financial implications of accepting mobile wallet payments. It is important to note that fees associated with mobile payments vary depending on the provider, transaction volume, and pricing structure. Researching different payment processors and understanding their fee structures will help restaurants make informed decisions about integrating mobile wallet technologies into their operations.

As the popularity of mobile wallets grows, it's crucial for restaurants to adapt and adopt these modern payment methods. Mobile wallets can have a positive impact on the restaurant guest experience, enhance efficiency, and ensure added security, among other benefits.

By keeping up with industry standards, understanding the preferences of different demographics, and addressing any potential risks, restaurants can future-proof their businesses and stay ahead of the curve. With over 60% of Gen Zers and 51% of millennials already spending more using digital wallets, now is the time for restaurants to provide a seamless payment experience that delights their customers.

Ready to elevate your restaurant's payment experience with mobile wallets? Solutions like the Ziosk Pro Server Tablet with Drop & Pay™ let servers simply place the innovative digital check presenter on the table, allowing guests to pay in seconds, while also driving surveys, loyalty, and server productivity. It provides secure EMV, NFC, and Mobile Payments at the table, so there is no need for a card or mobile phone to be out of the sight of the guest, providing added peace of mind. Explore Ziosk's solutions page for more information.

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