Millennial habits push restaurants to accept mobile payments
September 11, 2013

Many fast-food restaurant chains in the U.S. are starting to accept mobile payments from their customers. Despite rapid advancements in smartphone technology in recent years, the restaurant industry has been relatively slow to incorporate payment integration into the customer experience, according to Mobile Payments Today.

However, the need to incite maximum satisfaction and encourage long-term retention has caused many fast-food businesses to start upping their investments in payment processing technology for mobile devices. Mobile Payments Today said the increased pressure to offer credit card processing through new systems is largely coming from the millennial customer demographic. In fact, a 2012 report from Nielsen said 56 percent of teenagers between the ages of 13 and 17 own smartphones, which is nearly 20 percent more than what the same study found in 2011. Similarly, 74 percent consumers aged 25 to 34 now own smartphones. As a result, Mobile Payments Today said the smartphone and tablet payment processing industry is expected to jump to more than $62 billion by 2016.

What exactly is so great about the ability to accept mobile payments in the restaurant industry? Here are some key benefits:

It reduces service time
According to Mobile Payments Today, fast service is one of the most valuable benefits a restaurant can offer its customers. Limiting the amount of time customers have to wait to pay for their food is a major focus in the highly competitive fast-food industry. Businesses that can accept credit card payments through mobile channels can significantly reduce service time by allowing people to pay before even arriving at the store.

It promotes long-term customer loyalty
The impacts of convenience can have resonating effects on customer retention in the future, as well. By offering the option of paying through integrated mobile channels, businesses can attract people like millennials, who already use smartphones for both social and payment purposes. As smartphones become more popular, people will come to expect brands to offer services through such channels.

Additionally, fast-food restaurants can benefit by incorporating payment processing into the larger mobile experience. Coupled with coupon promotions, mobile menus and other features such as transaction processing allow businesses to streamline the entire restaurant experience into one convenient portal. If customers have a positive experience with mobile payment at a business, they will be much more likely to keep returning in the future.

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