Since Steve Jobs first introduced the iPhone in 2007, smartphones have changed the way that we shop and spend. Today, more than 188 million people own a smartphone in the US, with numbers expected to reach 200 million by end of this year. Recent innovations in mobile applications are steadily evolving smartphone users to be more and more reliant on convenient mobile platforms to perform many day-to-day activities – ranging from trivial tasks such as messaging to private transactions with commercial vendors. In fact, research has shown that these devices are so prevalent in our lives that the average person will access a smartphone an estimated 100 times and execute an approximate 220 individual tasks per day.
Companies of all sizes are taking notice of the importance of integrating expedient mobile payment options to take advantage of the growing smartphone market. Rapid changes in technology and consumer behavior are the key driving forces responsible for innovating the development of mobile payment solutions. Apple announced their payment platform in late 2014 followed by Google and Samsung earlier this year. Combined, Apple and Google power an impressive 95% of all smartphones, whose latest mobile incarnations are installed with applications that enable consumers to leave their cash, credit cards, and debit cards at home.
Consumer enthusiasm remains high for mobile payment options, and the restaurant industry itself has been selected out of seven other industries (including retail and entertainment) to adopt mobile payment support first. This year's National Restaurant Association Show focused heavily on mobile payments, as the entire industry is beginning to notice the impact it can make on their customers’ dining experiences and restaurants' revenue potential. Similar to the advantages that businesses gained when they began accepting credits cards years ago, mobile payments promise to add even more value for both restaurants and diners.
Here are a few ways mobile payments transform the dining experience:
Personalized service for every guest: Imagine knowing the preferences, habits, nutritional, and dietary requirements for every customer by name once they walk through your door. This technology allows you to treat every customer like a regular, and tailors their dining experiences to individual requirements and preferences.
Unparalleled payment experiences: One out of five consumers cite payment related issues such as waiting for the bill as the reason they commonly leave a restaurant frustrated. With mobile payments, the payment experience becomes frictionless and the server never has to worry about delivering or splitting a check again, while the customers can sit back feeling secure and incontrol of their dining experience.
Real-time ratings: Restaurants can capture sentiments of every guest in real-time and address individuals or groups that are having a bad experience while they are still in the venue. Imagine never having a bad rating or tarnished social reputation again.
Hyper-targeted mobile campaigns: With the high amount of information that is gathered from customers, instead of deploying one or two deals to the masses, you can deliver a higher number of individually targeted campaigns to smaller groups in order to achieve higher conversion rates.
As technology evolves, consumers will only become more accustomed to the luxury of having everything at their fingertips. The power of mobile payments is tremendous to modern consumers. Maximizing the benefits of this feature elevates customer experience, increases sales, and improves server efficiency within your restaurant operations.
Mobile payment technology is here - what is your business doing to prepare for the next evolution?
Written by Jimmy Patel, Split Co-Founder
1. http://www.comscore.com/Insights/Market-Rankings/comScore-Reports-April-2015-U.S.-Smartphone-Subscriber-Market-Share 2. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2783677/How-YOU-look-phone-The-average-user-picks-device-1-500-times-day.html 3. https://www.fsrmagazine.com/technology/mobile-payment-survey-sees-growing-opportunity-restaurants?microsite=15