Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts may make headlines with their digital initiatives, but they’re far from the only coffee and baked goods shops to recognize that online-savvy customers increasingly live on their mobile devices.
In the March Payments As A Service TrackerTM, PYMNTS explores how smaller café operations are staying competitive in the space by embracing digital payments, loyalty programs and mobile ordering efforts of their own, and how some major tech players are vying to get into the payments game.
Around the Payments as a Service World
In some cases, digital payments are the difference between getting paid and getting stiffed. Financial company Barclays released research revealing that a quarter of restaurant diners will leave without paying if they feel the bill is taking too long to arrive. To resolve the issue, Barclays released a new restaurant table-based device that works with customers’ phones to automatically charge them when they leave the premises.
Meanwhile, Russian telecommunications giant MegaFon is also looking to expand into the payments space. A recent partnership with Mastercard enables MegaFon subscribers to purchase goods through their smartphones, as well as use the MegaFon.Bank app to create virtual Mastercard bank cards.
U.K. players are also putting focus on phones. The Co-op, a U.K.-based food retailer, recently launched a mobile app that lets grocery shoppers scan items on their smartphones and pay from anywhere in the store, without having to go through checkout.
To read the full scoop and the rest of the latest headlines, download the Tracker.
A Sweeter Way to Pay
For the Boston area-based Flour Bakery + Cafe, as business grew and the phone was ringing off the hook, it became clear the time was ripe to offer an app with digital order-ahead features. Staff had only so much time to answer phones and could only fulfill a limited number of orders, explained Tanya Li, Flour’s assistant director of operations.
The company determined that a mobile app would let more customers place orders and do so with ease, while also giving the bakery-café the opportunity to introduce digital rewards programs, with a visit-based and spending-based program.
“The online ordering has allowed us to help more people during lunch, to take on more orders – where before, we were pretty thoroughly limited by only being able to take phone orders,” Li said.
In this month’s feature story, Li explained the decisions that went into the company’s mobile app and POS system software, including the need to support an expansive menu and carry over its signature friendly, welcoming atmosphere into the digital realm.
See the full story in the latest Payments As A Service Tracker’s feature story.
About the Tracker
The Payments As A Service Tracker™ is designed to give an overview of the trends and activities of merchant platforms that not only enable payment processing of new and old technologies, but also integrate with other features to improve the merchant’s experience, including customer engagement, security, omnichannel retail, analytics, inventory management, software and hardware management and more.