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Industry News - October 24th 2014



Study Says Restaurant Customers Are Ready to Use Payment Technology

As the U.S. restaurant industry gradually rolls out guest-operated payment technology, a Cornell study finds that restaurant guests are enthusiastically ready to use smartphones and table-top tablets to pay their bill. In a survey of nearly 1,300 U.S. consumers, the study found that the consumers rated paying with technology significantly higher than the traditional payment method that involves handing over a credit card. The study, "Ready and Willing: Restaurant Customers' View of Payment Technology," by Sheryl Kimes and Joel Collier, is available at no charge from the Cornell Center for Hospitality Research (CHR).

"Our study was conducted before Apple Pay was announced, but it's clear that restaurant customers are ready to use this kind of technology to settle their checks," said Kimes, a professor of operations management and a Menschel Distinguished Teaching Fellow at the Cornell School of Hotel Administration. "We tested the use of smartphone apps and table-top systems on eight different measures. Technology beat out the traditional settlement method on all eight, including overall guest satisfaction."

Restaurant operators should take notice of consumers' favorable view of payment technology, since the industry has long been concerned that guests would not want to use it, adds Collier, an associate professor at Mississippi State University. "What's especially interesting is that the consumers in our study gave high marks to payment technology for its privacy aspect, since their credit card never leaves their hands," Collier says. "I also want to point out that these consumers said that payment technology would encourage them to spend more money on their next visit to a restaurant."

In their study, Kimes and Collier showed 1,297 survey respondents one of three restaurant payment scenarios that apply to settling the check in a casual restaurant. The respondents rated settlement using smartphones, table-top systems, and traditional methods on the following eight measurements: accuracy, control of pacing, convenience, efficiency, experience quality, future spending intentions, privacy, and satisfaction with the payment method. On all eight measurements, paying with technology was rated significantly higher than the traditional settlement approach.

Although this study specifically applies to consumers in casual restaurants, Kimes and Collier suggest that it appears that restaurant operators do not have to be concerned about guests' acceptance of customer payment technologies. In fact, given increasing privacy concerns, some guests may greatly appreciate the control and privacy that they gain by being able to use payment technologies.

MasterCard and NCR Bring Contactless Payment to World Series

MasterCard is bringing contactless acceptance to ballpark food and beverage concessions at the 2014 World Series through a partnership with MLB Advanced Media, enabling fans to make payments using a variety of NFC-enabled devices and services, including the newly introduced Apple Pay. These two ballparks will be the first professional sports facilities to accept Apple Pay, when it debuts for fans attending Game One of the World Series in Kansas City.

Apple Pay is available for U.S. consumers via the iOS 8.1 update for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus and can be used at all contactless acceptance locations. The acceptance of easy-to-use contactless payments, fully integrated into each ballpark’s respective concession technology by MLBAM and NCR Corporation is just the beginning of how MasterCard is delivering an enhanced experience to baseball fans.  

In addition to contactless acceptance at the two World Series ballparks, MLBAM and Tickets.com this year will deliver in-app support for Apple Pay when single-game tickets for the 2015 Major League Baseball season are scheduled to go on-sale in November. At that time, fans will be able to utilize Apple Pay when purchasing tickets in MLB.com At the Ballpark, the official ballpark app of Major League Baseball.

In building a secure payment experience, Apple Pay leverages industry-standard EMV cryptography to ensure transactions can take full advantage of the most secure payments technology in the world. In order to further protect consumers, Apple Pay incorporates additional security features such as Touch ID or a passcode to authorize every payment and tokenization via MDES.

Cloud-Based Mobile PMS Allows Hotel to Service Guests Anywhere

Hotel Nikko San Francisco, the United States flagship hotel for Nikko Hotels International. Has implemented software solutions from StayNTouch Inc.

Hotel Nikko has deployed the StayNTouch Rover FrontOffice, a cloud overlay to the hotel’s existing PMS.  This enables hotel service agents to fully service guests anywhere the guest happens to be (check-in, check out, upgrade, etc.) via a mobile tablet experience.  Whether assisting guests during busy lobby times to avoid lines or checking in groups near the event space, the Hotel Nikko now has a truly mobile front desk.  Further, guests of the Hotel Nikko can be pre-engaged prior to arrival via their smartphones, enabling them to see pictures of rooms and receive upgrade offers and even enabling the guest to make service requests.  The guest can check in or check out via their smartphone in a PMS-integrated fashion, benefiting both the hotel and the guest.

The hotel has implemented two StayNTouch cloud-solutions on one platform:
Rover FrontOffice™:  Overlays on top of PMS bringing the front office functionality onto a mobile/tablet in a touch/graphic user experience.  Includes remote key encoding & secure credit card swipe featuring P2P encryption & tokenization.  Enables staff flexibility to service guests anytime, anywhere.  Line-busting. Zero training. 

Zest Web™:  Enables guest pre-engagement and mobile guest services via mobile web, no app needed.  Guest-enabled mobile check-in & out via smart phone or desktop.  Private labeled, PMS-integrated mobile check-in &/or checkout.  Review bill, preferences collected, upsell opportunities, remote key fulfillment.  Promote and monetize late checkouts.

Field Service App Ensures Right Time, Right Place

The FieldMaster Technician, a downloadable mobile application from Trimble, empowers mobile workers in the field with advanced collaboration tools and the ability to access and update information in real-time for improved effectiveness.

The app allows service organizations to optimize workflows and improve service delivery by getting technicians to the right place at the right time with the information they need to do their job correctly the first time.

Spotlight on the Field
Following the announcement of Trimble Horizon, the new cloud-based platform for Trimble’s Field Service Management (FSM) solutions, FieldMaster Technician is the second in a line of new features and solutions announced as part of Trimble’s spotlight on empowering mobile workers.

“Field service organizations are constantly looking to be more efficient,” said John Cameron, general manager of Trimble’s Field Service Management Division. “Mobility solutions that provide field teams information at their fingertips are vital to that pursuit. Real-time knowledge allows workers to make better, more intelligent business decisions while in the field. The result can enable increased productivity, reduced operating costs and improved customer satisfaction—three ongoing goals in field service.”

FieldMaster Technician is integrated into Trimble FSM’s cloud-based solutions; features include:

•Allowing mobile workers to instantly locate and contact nearby co-workers for assistance
•Enabling mobile workers to find the fastest route and navigate to key locations
•Allowing mobile workers to manage their time and log activities throughout the day
•Allowing mobile workers to view historical job information
•Permitting photos and signatures to be captured on site to document work


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