Mobile payments are taking off. With more businesses implementing mobile-enabled payment terminals, customers everywhere are beginning to expect this new level of security, speed, and convenience — and it’s important that your restaurant gets on board with it quickly.

How Mobile Payments Work

If you’re new to the concept of mobile payments, the term refers to any payment that’s conducted using a smartphone’s wallet, like Apple Wallet or Google Pay. These wallets are entirely electronic and allow smartphone users to save their credit card information for ease of use.

When someone comes to pay with a mobile-enabled terminal, they simply get out their phone, hold it a few inches away from the terminal’s sensor, and wait a few seconds for the confirmation light and/or sound that tells them the payment has been processed.

What’s more, customers are already familiar with mobile payments. All they’re waiting for is for you to offer them! Once you see a mobile payment take place, you will realize the countless benefits it can bring to your restaurant, such as:

Closing Tickets Faster for Happier Customers

Slow service is one of the biggest issues that plagues restaurants, and a slow payments terminal only adds to the problem. If you’re a counter-service restaurant, especially one processing small tickets like coffee orders, the last thing you or your customers want is a slow payments terminal holding up the line. Unfortunately, as many customers use chip-enabled payments, that’s exactly what you get.

Offering mobile payments is a faster alternative that offers the same security. With a bit of signage, you can inform customers about the new payment option and get more of them on board, helping lines move faster all while your customers enjoy speedier service, allowing them to grab their order and get on with their day.

With mobile payments, all your customers have to do is pull out their device. Chip payments can take up to 30 seconds whereas a mobile payment is processed in 3 to 5 seconds. This reduced amount of time equates to major and direct perks for your restaurant. No more long queues forming as everyone places an order, takes out their card, and waits for the processing to happen. Imagine how much faster you’ll be able to accept orders and get people out the door. This speedy service is also useful for table-service restaurants and pickup orders.

Adding Convenience to Table-Side Service

Your servers definitely know the headache of jumping patron-to-patron while trying to make sure that they’ve met everyone’s needs. Meanwhile, they’re running checks back and forth and acting as cashiers—all while trying to keep service running smoothly.

When a customer finishes eating and they’re ready to leave, it’s your job to get them out the door quickly and smoothly. However, most table-service restaurants are plagued with a slow “check-out” process. 

First, the customer must wait for their server to offer them the check. Then, they must wait for the server to return with the check. Next, they place their card in the checkout folder and wait for the server to come to pick up the check. Lastly, they’re stuck waiting as the server processes their payment and returns their card to them.

This old way of paying from the table is quickly falling out of favor. Not only is the customer left worrying about who’s handling their card, but they’re stuck waiting when they’re ready to head out the door and get on with their plans. Mobile payments completely transform this experience for the better.

For table-service restaurants, mobile payments combined with portable terminals can give your patrons the option to pay at the table and at their leisure. Simply have the server pop the payment terminal on the edge of the table where the customer can insert their payment information when they’re ready, paying via phone or card. They can add the tip in one step and be on their way in mere seconds. That’s the convenience modern diners expect.

Reducing Touchpoints for Health & Safety

Hygiene is on everyone’s mind these days, and being able to further reduce touchpoints for both customers and employees should be a top priority for any foodservice business. It’s always been said that money is one of the dirtiest elements of society, and even as we’ve moved to credit cards and cashless payments, this continues to be true.

Credit cards exchange hands with cashiers, navigate gas station pumps and touch public terminals that thousands of other cards and hands have touched in the hours before them. The move toward contactless payments seems like a “no-brainer” as we strive for safer transactions.

By accepting mobile payments, your restaurant is getting a step ahead. Not only are you making the work environment safer for employees, but you’re showing your customers that you truly care. It’s just another big step you can take as you re-open and work to welcome back your customers this summer.

Get Started With Mobile Payments

Mobile payments can clearly provide some great benefits to your restaurant. In addition to speedier payments, mobile payments can completely transform table-side service and help everyone feel a bit safer as they get back to their old routines. Of course, it’s a big investment to get your restaurant set up with mobile payment and a contactless terminal.

To help your restaurant get back on its feet and kick off a prosperous year, National Merchants Association is offering a free contactless terminal and three months of free processing for restaurants. With NMA, you won’t just enjoy great introductory services — an NMA membership means you’ve got a payments partner you can count on for life. As your small business grows, NMA’s services will help you thrive. We Work for You®.Ready to get started? Claim your free terminal and three months of free processing today.