Restaurant Technology

Contactless payment systems launched in 2007, yet they are only recently viewed as serious alternatives to cash or cards in the United States. Since more and more consumers are setting up contactless payment options though, it only makes sense that businesses start adapting them too. 

The concept is simple: Customers simply wave or tap their card or device over a POS system to make a payment. This is done using NFC (near field communication) technology (radio frequency that allows the card to communicate with the restaurant POS device wirelessly) that guarantees fast and precise payments. For most payments, customers can breeze right through without swiping their card or pausing to enter a PIN. 

Global consulting firm A.T. Kearney estimates that by 2022, 56% of the cards in the US market will be contactless. That makes it easy for customers to opt for the tap-and-go style of payment. Contactless technology has other advanced ways of paying, such as: 

  • Smartphones
  • Mobile wallets
  • Stickers
  • Key fobs
  • Fitness trackers

These types of payment systems—such as Apple Pay or Google Pay—are designed for fast-paced environments where customers are in a hurry, like food trucks, ice cream shops, or cafes. 

There is considerable evidence that shows consumers ages 35 and under prefer contactless payment methods, making it a savvy move for all restaurant types to integrate them. Like with any new tech though, there are sticking points. Below, we review the pros and cons of offering tap-and-go payment systems at your restaurant. 

The Benefits of Contactless Payment Systems 

Tap-and-go payment systems are touted as the way of the future, yet how reliable are they? Are they secure enough? Do customers even like them? Let’s break down their benefits below and find the answers. 

Transactions are Secure and Fraud is Reduced

Since a card or device never leaves the customer’s hand, there is no chance for someone to copy down the numbers. Additionally, the chip technology used in contactless payments is more secure than other forms of payment. These are two points that customers find extremely convincing. As a merchant, you also don’t have to worry about chargebacks as contactless payments are PCI compliant. 

No Hidden Fees for Merchants 

Contactless payment systems don’t have additional fees, so businesses that decide to accept them are only required to pay the usual credit card fees. 

Consumer Demand

Chances are that your customers have been asking about contactless payments to use their smartphone wallets. The demand is growing, and it’s predicted to grow tremendously since consumers are ready for the benefits of better security and the ease of tap-and-pay. Another study by AT Kearney shows that US consumers view contactless payments as “secure, simple, and fun.”

Better Loyalty Programs

Loyalty programs are a fabulous way to increase repeat business and sales, and there are a few different styles restaurants can choose from. A simple punch card that gets stamped with every purchase is a popular choice. Accruing points through a customer profile or loyalty app are other options. 

Now you can h