Mobile Payment Tech To Change Restaurant Industry

A new survey sponsored by American Express that asked consumers about one of the new technologies beginning to make inroads in some national and global chain restaurants, mobile and smartphone payments, came up with some interesting results.

While placing food orders by mobile phone has become routine for many consumers, paying the bill on a mobile device is still a novelty in most places. Only one out of 10 consumers reports having paid for a restaurant meal by smartphone, and of those few, nearly half have paid their order in connection with mobile ordering for pickup or delivery, using the restaurant’s own app.

About three out of 10 consumers also used a restaurant’s dedicated app at the restaurant to pay their bill, which explains the growing trend among chains to integrate ordering, payment and loyalty programs into a single app; Starbucks, for instance, is now processing almost five million mobile transactions per week.

If you need more numbers to explain the trend, the survey found consumers are coming to expect this convenience in larger chains and will next begin to look for mobile-payment options in regional chains and independent restaurants. Up to 98 percent of those who have ever paid a restaurant bill on a mobile device say they’d be likely to do so again, and 63 percent would be extremely likely to do so.

These consumers who have used mobile payment for restaurant meals were asked what they found appealing about these systems. The top answer given was general convenience, followed by speed, with about three out of 10 citing the security of paying the bill on a device that never leaves their side.

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