Current Payments Industry Trends: POS, Mobile Ordering, and Contactless

by Raymond Pucci July 24, 2016
July 24, 2016

The POS and Payments space is expanding rapidly and the competition to identify and acquire new customers is growing more by the day. Many companies are turning to new technologies to not just survive, but thrive within the SMB market. However, as POS and Payment vendors evaluate new technologies to identify their total addressable market and drive sales, they also need to understand the current trends within the Payments industry.

Many trends such as the use of mobile apps for shopping have now become established consumer habits. Merchants in retail, dining, entertainment, and other services gain traction with their customers both on purchase volume and frequency.

Technology enables both mobile ordering and POS based payment methods, which is providing merchants with new marketing opportunities and sustainable customer relationships. Whether it’s quick service restaurants or casual dining, technology has arrived at a table near you.

Trend #1: Increase in tableside POS technology adoption

Chili’s has taken the lead in making tableside POS technology a pivotal part of their customer service and marketing programs. Previously, the terminals and enabling software were out of sight of the customers. Now the curtain has been pulled back, and technology has arrived at tableside, and chains such as Chili’s have installed an integrated package of customer-centric features involving marketing programs and payment options.

Given that the restaurant business suffers margin pressures from rising food and overhead costs, tableside POS will prove to be a significant staff productivity enhancement. Expect to see more tableside technology as additional POS applications are rolled out by software developers, especially for national chains.

Trend #2: Mobile order and pay has exceeded expectations

Quick-service restaurants have discovered consumers’ appetites for mobile order and pay, as Starbucks jumps out as the early winner in this category. Who can argue with the results of Starbucks loyalty program?

Starbucks’s mobile order and pay works very smoothly and enjoys a high participation rate. They claim to have 12 million active US loyalty members, notching an 8% quarterly gain in Q2 of this year. Just as impressive is that about a quarter of store sales are paid using a smartphone.

Trend #3: Mobile pay programs will continue to grow with new marketing features

Merchant loyalty members also spend more and provide great analytics data that Starbucks mines to offer promotions as well as to drive business during off-peak stores times. Not to be left behind is Dunkin Donuts, with their on-the-go mobile ordering app that also satisfies the java jolt for time-strapped customers.

While Dunkin and rival Starbucks generally have two distinct target demographics, these two mobile pay programs are highly competitive and ones to watch as they assuredly will introduce new integrated payment marketing features.

Trend #4: Contactless and mobile enabled POS checkouts will see a wider adoption

Walmart has completed implementation of its Walmart Pay contactless POS checkout at its 4,600 US stores. Contactless and mobile payments at checkout are so more streamlined than the current EMV fumbling and bumbling that is taking place.

The payment is fast, seamless, and easily integrated with a store’s loyalty and marketing programs. Chief mobile pay rivals, Apple, Android, and Samsung will be watching as other retailers may step up with their own in-house mobile pay systems and control more of their own destiny.

In all, there are several payments industry trends outlining new technologies and strategies that larger corporations are implementing. But Starbucks, Chilis, and Dunkin Donuts are not the only ones.

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