≡ Menu

Smartphone Payments in Restaurants To Roll-out In 2012

What does Subway, McDonald’s and Jack-in-the-Box have in common? Contactless payment system using smart phones in 2012.

A lot of restaurants have been using the contactless payment scheme for sometime now, allowing consumers to pay for their purchases with out letting go of their cards. Now, a recent payment innovation is once again set to be launched early next year: payment of bills in restaurants using nothing else than customers’ smart phones.

MasterCard Inc. has announced earlier this month that more than 34,500 large restaurant chains will start accepting MasterCard’s PayPass Tap & Go payment method in 2012. The PayPass Tap & Go mode enables consumers to use their Pay-Pass-enabled phone when dining out at restaurants. This new generation technology makes dining a lot more convenient, easier and faster, doing away with magnetic strip swiping or having to provide their signatures. Customers need not fumble for cash or wait for change once they get the restaurant’s quality check presenter—all the user has to do is tap the PayPass symbol on their phone in front a PayPass reader, wait for a green light and a beep to indicate that payment has been accepted, and go.

Another way to utilize it is through the use of Google Wallet, the very first phone-enabled mobile payment method to reach restaurant consumers. To avail of the service, the user must enroll a payment method, such as any MasterCard credit or debit card, into the Google Wallet site so that the app would have access to the funds. Once done, the user can start using the phone to buy anything —all he needs to do is tap the phone alongside a reader as if he has a customary card that has a contactless microchip in it.

Many believe that this recent move is an important step in facilitating digital payments on consumers’ smart phone a reality. Google Wallet, as well as Tap & Go, saves consumers time and money as they dine and shop, and allows participating merchants to build lasting relationships and connection with their customers.

Subway is now making arrangements with MasterCard to install new Tap & Go Payment Readers to more than 7,000 locations across the U.S, expecting to launch the system by the end of the first quarter of 2012.

“This rolls-out yet another payment option for our consumers,” said Tony Pace, Subway’s senior vice president and global chief marketing officer. “Our customers are used to having options when they come to visit any of our Subway restaurants. Now, with this latest innovation, they will have another payment alternative that is so much more convenient and easy to use.”

McDonald’s is also set to launch the contactless payment system next year, keeping up with the moves of McDonald’s Australia which started accepting contactless payments last 2010 and McDonald’s UK which adopted the technology earlier this year. Swiss McDonald’s locations began using the method in 2007.

Subway’s director of digital marketing, Joost Zimmerman, said that the launching of this new generation payment technology is very timely, since people have astoundingly adopted the use of smart phones in their everyday life. Other card companies are now developing their own programs to get on board with this latest trend.