The Contactless Revolution

There has been much talk off a post-Covid world where employees increasingly work from home and consumers shift their shopping behaviours from visiting stores to purchasing online. What about the pub, dining or supermarket experience? How might this change?

Hospitality and Leisure has been hit hard by this year’s events. For the short period they were open, they had to find ways to offer food and drink without the usual physical touch points.

Two key touch points are at the beginning of the meal, the menu, and at the end, payment processing.

Have you been to a lower to mid-level restaurant post-Lockdown 1.0? Scan a QR (Quick Response) code and your mobile phone will pop-up a menu. Post-Covid, it is likely QR codes will replace the traditional paper menu in many establishments. Restaurants in the City are experiential. This presents a great opportunity to enhance a diners experience through their mobile device.

How about the second touch point – payments? The revolutionaries in take-outs, Deliveroo and Uber Eats, were offering a dine-in function for the brief period we ate out to help out on their respective apps called “Table Service” and “Dine-In”.

Restaurants sign up, customers select the dine-in option, browse the menu through the app, order and pay on the app. Bish..Bash..Bosh. The hard work is taken care off, chefs just need to make the food and waiters bring it to the table, oh an no cheacky runners by amused students!

Unless you’re Nandos, it’s basically Click + Collect in a post-Covid era.

Another contactless example is with Amazon’s introduction of walk-in, walk-out supermarkets, called “Amazon Go”. Supermarkets without checkouts.

At Amazon Go in the US, shoppers scan their phone through the Amazon Go app at the store’s entry gate. Cameras and sensors automatically log anything picked up in store to a shoppers’ Amazon online basket. The customer’s Amazon account is billed when they leave the shop.

Slightly scary, but this is the future.

As card payments overtake cash in 2020, the opportunity for contactless payment processing grows. The future for order and payments processing will be driven by device applications and the ease of implementation into already existing apps and websites, such as Opentable or Book A Table, to effectively monetize and scale rapidly. A repeat revenue model by charging flat fees for specific transaction volumes could generate a very valuable and profitable business.

The world of payment collection, processing and customer interaction is changing at lightspeed.  So if you are providing these services you will need to be fleet of foot to grasp the opportunity.  Do you have the funding required for organic growth or to buy a business that completes your offering or gets you the know-how?  We at Polestar can introduce you to smart money that will help your expansion and help you find and approach that suitable acquisition target. 

Not only does the touch-free ordering setup need to incorporate payments – it also has to be very easy for customers to use.”

By Mihir Shah on 26/11/2020