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A Review of Payment Methods for Restaurants in Canada

The restaurant business is booming in Canada as home-cooked meals become less of a norm for busy professionals. In 2014, Canadians spent $649.65 on average in a month on eating out and drinking, according to data from Statistics Canada. Since this number is growing as the years go by, it is important that restaurant owners stay on top payment trends, to ensure that their customers are able to conveniently pay with the latest technology in debit and credit card processing. In fact, the food service industry thrives with the aid of several custom designed payment methods for restaurants that to make it easy and efficient for customers to pay.

The Canadian Restaurant Industry

A recent report from Restaurants Canada indicates that in 2016, Canadian sales will be expected to grow by 3.8% to $62 billion (Restaurant Canada). When comparing provinces, Manitoba and British Columbia should lead the pack in 2016, with estimated growth of 4.3%. In comparison, Newfoundland is estimated to grow by only 1.8%.

A report conducted by GE Capital found that in 2015, 45% of Canadians were dining outside of their home daily. However, given the sometimes staggering economy, combined with higher costs of living, some restaurants struggled to increase customer counts and make ends meet. A large number of restaurants fail within their first year if they cannot generate popularity quickly enough. Therefore, a key strategy for many restaurant owners across Canada is to focus on attracting Millennials, 18-34 year-olds. Millennials use of restaurants is higher than other age groups at 30% overall. As well, Millennials were the only age group to increase the number of visits per capita to restaurants in 2014. The average Millennial now eats out of home 235 times a year.

Payment Methods for Restaurants in Canada

There are several payment methods for restaurants in Canada which specifically cater to restaurants’ needs and boost productivity, most predominately through Pay-at-Table Options, Mobile Payments and Digital Wallets.

Payment Methods for Restaurants – Pay-at-Table Options

Pay-at-Table is essentially paying for your bill at the table with your Credit or Debit card without having to get up to pay at the cash register. The waiter/waitress will bring the wireless POS terminal to the customer and have them pay where they’re comfortably seated. Paying at table proves to be the most popular option of payment methods for restaurants nowadays in Canada.

Benefits of Pay-at-Table Options

Canada was one of the first countries to adopt Pay-at-Table, back in 2010. This EMV technology has allowed for less waiting time for customers, plus higher tips for servers. It cuts down wait time for the customers so they can pay and leave, thus increasing turnover rate. This convenience positively leads to higher customer satisfaction and retention.

Other benefits of Pay-at-Table include reduced chargebacks, because it yields less credit card frauds. Major acquirers have reported that overall chargebacks have been increasing since October 2015. However, payment methods for restaurants like Pay-at-Table utilize the most secure EMV technology, so fraud is difficult to pull off and therefore rare.

Identity theft is most common in the hospitality industry where cards leave the customers’ hands for several minutes. This leads to card skimming by servers who are part of fraud rings that can wear discreet card skimmers on their belt loops to collect data from customers. Payment methods for restaurants like Pay-at-Table eliminate that possibility by keeping cards out of servers’ possession (Pay-at-Table options).

Payment Methods for Restaurants – Mobile Payment

A new consumer report developed by Technology Strategies International revealed that the most rapidly increasing contactless payment method that Canadians are adopting is Mobile. Canadian consumers are now commonly making purchases through their phones at restaurants. In fact, these are the most popular mobile apps used by consumers.

Adoption of Mobile payment is still in its relatively early stages. The survey result demonstrated that almost half respondents did not have a payment app installed on their phone. PayPal was the most installed application, followed by Starbucks.

Apple Pay comes in at the 6th most installed app, with only 5% of the people surveys downloading it. The study finds that by 2020, 90% of Canadians will have Smartphone, and three quarters of those phones will have NFC technology.

Payment Methods for Restaurants – Digital Wallets

The following digital wallets are the most common and sought after by consumers:

  • Google Wallet: Instead of tapping your card at the checkout counter, all you have to do is wave your Smartphone or tap it on the machine. The technology will be able to identify the credit card information linked to the Google account.

  • With Apple’s Passbook, you can store loyalty cards and movie tickets; therefore you may have access to this anytime you want. Unlike Google Wallet, you cannot use Debit or Credit Cards for purchases in-store, but you may use BillGuard to view your bank balance and other related info on your phone.

  • Lemon Wallet is available for iOS, Android and Window Phone. It allows you to store and use your Debit, Credit, ID and loyalty cards. The users can also connect payment cards to the bank allowing them to check their balance and transactions from within the app. Another wonderful feature of this wallet is that it allows you to take pictures of receipt for tax purposes or to track your own spending.

Are you a restaurant owner interested in learning more about equipping your business with the most up-to-date and consumer-appealing payment methods? Contact Alternative Banking Solutions at 1 (866) 822-7462 to discuss and receive a complimentary quotation.

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