Digital

The Future Of Mobile Payments In The Hospitality Industry

6 key points you need to know from flypay’s presentation at The Digital Innovation Forum 2015

Author

Aimie Neighbour
New Business & Digital Marketing Manager

In October, Ignite spoke at the Digital Innovation Forum, an event for those in the hospitality industry to find out what’s going in in tech and how it involves them. One of the speakers on the day was Tom Weaver, CEO of flypay and a pioneer of the mobile payment revolution.

He spoke about the past, present and future of mobile payment and how it will affect hospitality. Here are 6 key points from his presentation that you need to know:

  1. The future of mobile of payments is that no one will be talking about them in 5 years.

We have come a long way since the first restaurant online payment in 1994 on pizzanet. In 1994 a total of $100 was spent online, which is a drop in the ocean compared to $1,316,000,000,000 we spend today! The point is that online payment is no longer a ‘big deal’; it’s integrated into our daily life and those worries and anxieties we had about inputting our card details online have gone, in fact, we couldn’t imagine a world without it.

  1. We’re still playing catch up.

The smart phone revolutionised our world again, giving us the ability to do things we could never do before – blurring the lines between the physical and the digital. The payment industry was never really prepared for online payments, let alone mobile payments. The system of inputting a 16 digit card number was never ideal and still hasn’t been solved properly. There is still a lot of friction in the way mobile payment operates and this is what needs to change.

There is still a lot of friction in the way mobile payment operates and this is what needs to change.

  1. All hail Apple.

Whatever your opinions on Apple, there’s one thing they’re good at – fixing a system that’s a little bit broken, solving a problem and making it available to the masses. The introduction of Apple Pay earlier this year was a pivotal moment in mobile payment, taking away the pain points, such as inputting a 16 digit card number or even a 4 digit pin, and making the experience frictionless.

NB – Android users, don’t despair, Android Pay is on its way!

  1. Make the payment something that happens.

If you want an example of a branded app that’s killing it, look no further than Starbucks. They slowly built a following by focusing on loyalty and have now charged ahead, creating a fully integrated experience. You don’t have to queue, you can order ahead, order from the table – the app isn’t about taking your payment, that just happens anyway, the app is about making your experience better.

The app isn’t about taking your payment, that just happens anyway, the app is about making your experience better.

Uber is another example of an app that has dissolved the payment element completely. You just hop in and out of a taxi and the payment just happens, you don’t have to think about it, it just happens. There’s an element of trust there and it’s apps like this that are changing the way we feel about mobile payments. The question is, how can we take this shift in behaviour and apply it to hospitality?

  1. How can mobile payment work in hospitality?

Mobile payment in hospitality isn’t a new concept but it is still in its infancy. The next few years will be dominated by branded apps but those that will really make a difference will be those who can truly integrate the app into the whole restaurant experience.

The first way this can happen is by removing the friction of the payment itself, such as in the examples in point 4. Allowing customers to pay at the table or run a tab can make life easier for both the customers and the staff.

Take running a tab through an app as an example:

– Being able to run a tab gets people spending more, fact.

– Handing your card to someone behind the bar isn’t very secure, if it’s on your phone it’s private.

– You can set a budget, check in to a bar, join a tab, leave a tab, split a tab – all with a tap of a screen.

– You don’t have to remember to do anything, so if you leave at the end of the night a little worse for wear the payment is taken care of. No more drunkenly blocking your card because you can’t remember your pin!

– Less hassle for the staff if they don’t have a load of open tabs and forgotten cards to deal with at the end of a long shift.

The second, most exciting thing about mobile payment is the ability it gives you to transact with data.

No matter how many loyal regulars you have, the fact is that most people who enter your bar or restaurant are anonymous and any data you can gather on them when they’re in your establishment can only be used retrospectively. The beauty of the mobile app is it has the ability to know their behaviour history and therefore has the ability to personalise menus and offers in real-time. This is what is really exciting and what can make the whole experience truly magical.

  1. The future of mobile of payments is that no one will be talking about them in 5 years.

OK, so this is the same as the first point but it really is worth stressing! Mobile payment is happening and very soon it will be ubiquitous in our everyday lives. Just as with e-commerce and m-commerce, soon we won’t even be thinking about it, let alone talking about it.

Mobile payment is happening and very soon it will be ubiquitous in our everyday lives.

 

Flypay is a revolutionary and market leader in mobile payment with both their own flagship app and building branded apps for businesses. For more information on flypay check out their website.

Here at Ignite we try to keep you up to date with what’s happening in the digital and marketing world. To find out how our team of experts can help your hospitality business, please get in touch.

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