A recent survey, by card provider Marqeta, revealed that more than three quarters of Gen Z now leave home without their wallets, instead choosing to pay via their phones and wearables. It may not be surprising that the younger generations, who have grown up in a digital age, embrace technologies but even age-old fans of physical money had to adapt to other methods during the pandemic and many haven’t looked back since. In fact, data from UK Finance showed that 415 contactless transactions were made every second in 2021, up 36% compared to 2020.

The death of the wallet seems to be an increasing reality. The convenience of digital payment options, such as contactless, mobile or Apple Pay, is a huge appeal. Consumers have become so used to paying with just a simple swipe of a card, phone or watch, that even entering a pin number feels time consuming.

The security of these methods is far superior to cash – which essentially has no security. If you lose your wallet or are unfortunate enough to be a victim of theft, your money is more than likely gone for good with no way for a cashier to know that the money being used is stolen. Digital payment methods have layers of security – your phone will use Face ID, fingerprint scan or pin code, a debit card will request the pin code is entered every few transactions, there is an online footprint tracking all the purchases made and alerting banks to a theft means further purchases can be stopped within minutes.

In addition, with the rise of pre-ordering apps, it’s useful to know that various payment methods can be connected to these too. This means that when someone is pre-ordering their lunch they can also pay for the items at the same time, so when it comes to collecting their food and drink, they simply pick up their order and walk away. This means queues are virtually eradicated as there is no need to wait for each person to put their items through a payment point.

We work with many hospitality operators to install flexible, digital payment methods to their environments. They not only realise the benefits this brings to their customers, but also to their business. Hospitality operators are easily able to collect rich transactional data, enabling them to really get to know their customers. They can learn about peak trading times, buying habits and so on. This knowledge can then inform promotions and loyalty programmes, which can be tailored to suit the customers and their preferences – which will all work to increase revenue and bolster the bottom line.

Without the need for a physical member of staff to take payments, hospitality can be offered 24/7 – which is particularly relevant given the adoption of hybrid working within some workplaces. Increasing numbers of employees are working flexibly either earlier or later, and so they can still access food and drink without the need for increased staffing costs.

The most common question we get asked from hospitality operators is ‘which payment methods should I offer’? We’ve taken a look at the various payment solutions – how they work and the benefits they bring – to help hospitality operators make more informed choices about which would be right for them.

Apple Pay

Increasingly well known and a popular choice, Apple Pay enables consumers to add multiple debit or credit cards to their Apple Pay wallet and then make payment by simply presenting their phone at the checkout terminal. It makes transactions simple and quick, plus there is the added benefit of being able to choose between cards at the checkout. This tech is also being constantly evolved; for example, it was recently announced that Apple Pay Later is launching – a ‘buy now, pay later’ feature – which will let consumers split the cost of any purchase made with Apple Pay into four payments over six weeks. Considering food and drink purchases are relatively low-cost transactions this may not be hugely in-demand with hospitality customers, but it’s exciting to see developments and new offerings come out. Google Pay and Samsung Pay are also popular choices.

Contactless Payments

The contactless limit was increased to £100 per transaction last year, which means the vast majority of payments can be done in this way; particularly in the hospitality sector where customers are usually paying for meals, snacks and drinks. Contactless payments are done with a simple one-stroke action that is quick and efficient. It can be installed at Point of Sale terminals, self-service kiosks and even vending machines, so is incredibly versatile.

Cashless Payments

Many organisations we work with use an access control system to enter their facility, so incorporating cashless payment options to these passes makes sense with also the ability to offer daily subsidies, similar to meal vouchers based on attendance in the workplace. Users don’t need to carry anything other than their ID badge with them, they simply tap-and-go which instantly takes payment – dramatically reducing queue time in the dining areas. Users can also top up their account or view their transactional history via their mySYSTOPIA app.

To hear more about how we can help you transform your business operation contact us on info@systopia.co.uk