Cash is fast becoming a legacy form of payment. According to the UK Cards Association, there are 104 million contactless cards currently in use, with the average transaction value hovering at around £9.

This stands to reason; if you’ve ever used a contactless payment card (and, judging by those statistics, you probably have), you’ll know how simple a tap-and-go checkout is. What’s more, with virtually every high street shop, restaurant and pub accepting contactless payments, trips to the cash point are starting to feel rather archaic.

But what can restaurants expect from this payment revolution? Where is it headed?

Table-side payment methods will become more popular

Running the front of house operation in a restaurant is all about convenience for both its customers and staff.

The rise in popularity of waiter pad devices has enabled waiting staff to take orders quickly, accurately and rest safe in the knowledge that they’re automatically transferred to the kitchen team. But this is only the start.

Tablet POS systems featuring built-in payment processing are slowly making their presence felt at the table-side, and allow servers to accept payment for orders there and then, without have to retire to the bar in order to fish out the Chip and Pin machine.

There’s no doubting the efficiency of table-side payments, therefore if your POS system provider offers such functionally, it’d be smart to investigate the option further.

The rise (again) of the kiosk?

Kiosks aren’t new. They’ve floated around in hotels and restaurants for quite some time, but due to their size, cost and ability to dilute the ‘personal touch’, they’ve never quite hit the mainstream.

However, head to a McDonald’s outlet, and you’ll probably come across a more streamlined version of this promising technology. By installing giant, flat touchscreens that run intuitive software, the fast food chain is giving its customers the ability to order and pay for their food without having to wait in queues or for the server to process it via a POS terminal.

Will this form of technology make its way into independent restaurants? Perhaps not quite in the way McDonald’s has implemented it, but a diluted version that retains some form of human interaction on behalf of the waiting staff will probably start to gain acceptance.

Tablets installed on the table that enable customers to place an order and pay for it already exist, and are capable of sitting quite nicely alongside a traditional waiting service. Rather than disrupt the human element, they compliment it, because customers still have access to human beings if they need assistance, yet can benefit from the most modern of technology when it comes to ordering their food.

Chip cards are going nowhere

The UK is one of the few countries that embraced contactless payments some time ago, and as a result, there aren’t many places left where you can’t use your chip card or smartphone to settle a bill.

If you’re yet to embrace contactless payments in your restaurant, the clock is ticking. This form of payment is going nowhere and customer expectation will only increase. Thankfully, getting tooled up with the right gear is very straightforward (you might even have it already!). Speak to your credit card acquirer today and find out how your business can take advantage of contactless.

Final thoughts

The future of restaurant payments is an exciting one, because it will usher in new ways of settling transactions that are convenient for all. By harnessing the latest technologies, restaurants can increase customer satisfaction and decrease the time it takes to turnaround covers.

A word of warning, though. With processing guest payments comes increased responsibility for the protection of their data, and if restaurants fall foul of the stringent PCI DSS rules that govern the handling of card details, the resulting fines and brand damage can be crippling.

On 8th May at 10:30am (UK), we’re hosting a free webinar that will feature a panel of payment industry experts. It’s your chance to find out the rights and wrongs of processing customer payments. Register today by clicking below:



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