Ryan Williams
Jeremy Julian

Mobile Payments: Research and Case Study

April 27, 2016

Today, we wrap up our three-week series about mobile payments. If you missed our previous articles, click on the links to join the conversation:

In our final part, we are going to show the figures and facts from recent research about the growth track that mobile payments are currently on. And lastly, we are going to take a look at Panera and their 2.0 initiative which focused on the idea of ‘rapid pickup’ and how adding mobile payment and other mobile capabilities have greatly improved their service, business and brand.

Let’s get started!

Forrester, one of the most influential research and advisory firms in the world, predicts that money spent in stores by people using digital wallets will grow from the $4 billion of 2014, to $34 billion by 2019. And the sector is only set to grow: Mobile phone and tablet users will make 195 billion mobile commerce transactions annually by 2019, up from 72 billion this year, according to Juniper Research.

According to a 2015 MasterCard study, “The Emotion of Safety and Security Survey,” 56 percent of Americans use mobile digital payments via app or website or plan to try them soon. In addition, mobile payment apps up-level convenience for both businesses and users, as the payment process is streamlined.

When two of the largest technology and digital research firms and a leading, global credit card company produce hard data that state mobile payments are on a path for explosive growth, we think you should listen.

Study: Restaurant customers ready for mobile payments

According to a study published by Harbortouch, a supplier of point-of-sale systems, customers are more comfortable with mobile payments. A fact restaurants need to embrace. The survey, which polled 1,000 U.S. adults, examined the current state of mobile payment adoption and found a shift in the comfort level and acceptance of consumers, with a greater focus on interface and experience.

“One of the more interesting findings we uncovered from our survey is the growing desire for consumers to use mobile payment technology at restaurants,” said Jared Isaacman, founder and CEO of Harbortouch. “Currently, most mobile payment transactions happen in retail environments. There is now a unique opportunity for restaurants to gain a competitive advantage by making mobile payments part of the dining experience.”

Capitalize on the opportunity now with the NorthStar Order Entry System!

Other findings from the study include:

  • The future of mobile payments is in restaurants: Out of seven categories, including entertainment and retail, one in four people chose the restaurant industry as the most likely to widely adopt mobile payments in the near future.
  • Millennials love mobile payments: Among those surveyed, Millennials were the highest percentage of mobile payment users, with nearly half of respondents (41.9 percent) falling into that demographic. Men are leading the charge: Men are twice as likely to use some form of mobile payment compared to women.
  • Addressing consumers’ pain points: Of those surveyed who aren’t currently using mobile payments, 20 percent blame payment-related issues, like waiting for a server to pick up the bill or figuring out how much to tip, for hampering their dining experiences.

Case study: Panera 2.0

Since April 2014 Panera has been busy expanding its point of purchase processes to include “Rapid Pickup,” featuring advanced ordering via online or via a mobile device up to five days in advance; online and mobile ordering to a customer’s table, and fast-lane kiosks where customers use iPads to place an order. Maybe you have experienced in your local area.

At this point, Panera is working on an Apple Pay mobile process and loyalty strategy. “We’ve had great success [with Apple Pay] and it’s still emerging. It’s all about speed to service, allowing customer to skip lines. Our Apple Pay in-app option now represents 24 percent of our transactions, one in four, and we’re very happy with that,” said Brian Backer, director of enterprise architecture. “It’s proving to be an extremely easy, positive experience for our customers as has the order ahead option which works extremely well with our demographic.”

“It has to stay relevant, it has to be a safe and secure transaction, ensure a great customer experience and feature extremely high reliability,” advised Backer. “Any and all technology efforts must meet business objectives, be operational resilient, enforce compliance mandates and drive a great customer experience,” he added.

For retailers looking to deploy their own initiative, Backer offered up three tips:

  1. Do no harm, but focus on speed of service.
  2. Pay attention to the accounting equation as all the reconciliation happens at the payment point.
  3. Ensure the project has top to bottom company support.

“You have to ask yourself how it will impact the dynamic between the cashier and the customer and whether it will enhance or disrupt the experience,” said Backer.

Panera, noted Backer, was an early adopter of the kiosk technology and mobile payment. He credits Panera’s partners, which include Verifone, as playing key roles in the success of Panera 2.0.

“It is considerable work and you need to have a cohesive consumer road map that layouts out the incremental pieces you can do in house and those you can partner on. And you have to challenge your partners,” he said.

Adding mobile payment capabilities are a large undertaking. However, when done correctly, mobile pay can give your business a differentiating factor and make you more competitive. The research has been done and customers are wanting this change, are you going to give them what they want?

Thanks for reading our three-part series about mobile payments. If you missed any part of the series, click on the links below:

Curious to learn more about adding mobile payment capabilities? Check out the NorthStar Order Entry System for all your mobile and restaurant technology needs.

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