Hospitality: 5 reasons to bring payment to the consumer

In your typical dine-in restaurant, the server drops off the check, the customer takes out their credit card and leaves it on the table, the server then collects it, swipes the card at the back of the restaurant, and returns with a receipt to sign. If this sounds familiar, perhaps its time to put something new on the menu. For hospitality businesses, offering payment at the point of service is not only more palatable for customers, but healthier for your margins. Here are 5 reasons how paying at the point of service could benefit your hospitality business.

1. Payment security
The migration to EMV is driving business owners to upgrade their payment solutions in support of the new, more secure payment method. Over the next two years many cards issuers will start shipping out chip-and-PIN cards. This means that for every transaction, the consumer will have to enter a PIN after their credit card has been dipped (similar to a debit card transaction) to authenticate payment. By using wireless payment acceptance solutions, business owners can allow the consumer to pay for goods and services right at point of service. For customers, being served with payment options at the table is safer and more convenient.

2. The move to mobile
A recent study by MasterCard revealed 77% of consumers viewed digital payment options positively and also highlighted their preference for not always having their wallet on them. The launch of mobile payment solutions such as Apple Pay, Android Pay and Samsung Pay  has changed the landscape of contactless payment. A recent article in PYMNTS found Apple Pay adoption has grown from 13.1% in June 2015 to 16.6% in October 2015. With other players in the market, more customers will prefer to pay by this method moving forward. By using a wireless payment acceptance solution, hospitality business owners can provide a much more convenient and comfortable checkout experience to their customers. 

3. Turn those tables!
Restaurants in the US measure table turns very closely, and a small change can impact the business’ revenue. Improving efficiencies is always top of mind for business owners. Payment solutions such as pay-at-the-table save restaurant owners a lot of time during the billing process. Instead of the multi-step process, servers can complete payment in a single step by bringing a wireless payment terminal right to the table. Offering a billing process that takes less time and is more secure can enhance customer satisfaction, in turn generating new and repeat business.

4. More face-time with customers
Accepting payment at the point of service allows for merchants to have additional face time and interaction with their customers. Servers at a restaurant can spend that extra time to ensure their service is up to par and the customer’s needs are met. This also creates more opportunities to provide recommendations and upsell the customer. This increased customer interaction can yield both a higher final bill value and larger tip amounts.

5. Improve brand image and protect your customers
It’s unfortunate by the hospitality industry is often viewed as a source of stolen credit card data. By bringing payment to the point of service, business owners can increase the comfort of customers, who make the payment transaction themselves rather than hand their cards to servers. This increased security will serve to elevate hospitality brand in the eyes of the consumer, while protecting their business from credit card fraud, which can quickly ruin a business’ reputation.