Paying with a single tap has become second nature for many of us, so it’s no surprise that mobile payments are becoming increasingly popular with small businesses. Given that they’re often faster, more secure and more accessible than other payment methods, it could be the perfect addition to your food service business.
So how does it work in the food and beverage services?
Mobile payment systems combine a credit card reader with a smartphone or tablet app, so that businesses can accept card payments wherever, whenever. They can help you run your business more efficiently and give your customers more flexibility – all of which lends itself very well to the food services industry.
But which payment service to choose?
With several mobile payment services out there, it’s all about picking one that suits you best. Here are our top picks.
Apple Pay uses a near-field communication (NFC) chip to make its contactless payments and Touch ID (fingerprint authentication) for security. It launched with American Express and soon brought ANZ Bank onboard, and is set to partner with more Australian financial institutions in the future.
It can be used to make payments with just the tap of a finger and collects its fee from the card's issuing bank, not the merchant – which means it has the lowest credit card fees.
One of the easier services around to use, Square accepts all major credit cards at a flat rate of 1.9 per cent per swipe in Australia. There are no hidden fees (so no monthly charges or set-up fees) and it’s linked to your bank account – so deposits will appear in your account within one to two days. All you need to do is plug your credit card reader into your smartphone, open the app and swipe your customer’s card. The customer then signs the device, and you’re done.
If you’re already using PayPal for online transactions, then this might be the perfect choice. Payments are made into your PayPal account and are usually available immediately. You pay 1.95 per cent for transactions through the card reader and PayPal check-in payments, and 2.9 percent plus $0.30 for manual entries using the app. Cash transactions will also be added to your PayPal account at no extra charge and, as with the other mobile payment services, there are no monthly fees.
How do they compare to existing payment systems?
Generally, mobile payment systems offer more flexibility than EFTPOS terminals and bank-issued merchant facilities.
Those systems require monthly payments (which can be pricier) and usually only function in-store – which can be limiting. However, they can also offer advanced functions (like the ability to split bills or add tips), so it’s worth considering what your business's priorities are.
As a small business in the food service industry, it’s all about being adaptable and fast moving. With so many people to deal with – from food suppliers to customers – mobile payments might be a perfect fit.
But it’s about what’s right for you. If your business, whether it's a deli store, food delivery service or food distributor, could benefit from the flexibility of a mobile payment system, maybe it’s time to make the switch.
It's also worth checking out the legalities before making a move.