Payment system all around the world has been evolved continuously. Main factors for transforming are technology which comes together with changed consumer behavior. In 2013, smartphones in Thailand were used around 14.4 million units. As Marketeer estimated, in 2017 there will be 25 millions units.
Talking about payment method in restaurants, there are 2-3 main ways to pay. First is cash with advantages of immediately getting cash and simple accounting. However, its cons are possibility of fraud by staffs; also, opportunity loss in case that customers do not bring enough cash which leads to lower ticket size.
Another method is credit card. Although it has some disadvantages which are fee collected by banks, more complicated accounting and delay of getting cash; many good points are laid behind. Credit card can help reducing risk of fraud and increasing opportunity to sell which are also benefits to consumers. They can carry not too much cash; also, get special promotion offered by credit card such as reward points and discounting. With these credit card promotions, they help increasing spending volume, expanding restaurant’s customer base and creating brand awareness by banks’ media.
Debit card is not much popular in payment as cash and credit card; even though, young generation use it. There is con as credit card that restaurants have to pay fee to banks.
Although, coupon and voucher are not the mainstream payment, they are sold on some websites as hot deals or even by restaurants themself. This way customer will get some discount but mostly they have to additionally pay by main methods anyway due to larger billing than coupon or voucher value.
Another interesting system is cash card which comes together with CRM. Some cash cards now are transformed to be closed loop e-Wallet. For example, Starbucks have alternative for consumers to convert the plastic card to be wallet on mobile. It offers loyalty program which customers can collect star from buying beverages, desserts and merchandises. Once collected stars reach the condition, they can redeem free drinks. Then, accumulated stars accomplish criteria, customers get upgrading from Welcome to Green and Green to Gold. As mentioned earlier, this way make loyalty in long term but comes up with high investment.
e-Payment service in Thailand tends to increase. According to BOT Report, targeted volume of e-Payment usage per capita are 50 transactions per person per year and 150 transactions per person per year in 2016 and 2020, respectively. e-Payment service covers Direct debit, Direct credit, Interbank bulk payment (ITMX), Credit Card, Debit Card (Pay at Point of Sales), Transfer at ATM, Internet banking, Mobile banking, e-Money, and BAHTNET (3rd party)
Targets for e-Payment usage per capita in Thailand Source: bot.or.th
The future of e-wallet for payment in restaurants probably is put in this way – e-Wallet launched by financial institutions or even fintech which can make transactions with variety of merchants. For recent sample, Samsung Pay, it is now available in Thailand. It is simple to use; just launch the app, authenticate with fingerprint, and tap phone on the terminal to pay via Near Field Communication (NFC) and Magnetic Secure Transmission (MST). For national e-Payment like Prompt Pay, once it would be launched, it can be an payment option in restaurants.
For international case, payment system has been developing so much; especially, Pay-at-Table revolution. This technology is a solution to solve pain of waiting more than 10 minutes for checking. These applications require only a few seconds to operate that kind of process. How the applications work are payment by QR code; or code generated by the app and given to the restaurant. Payments are made by a pre-loaded link to PayPal, Apple Pay, credit card or debit card. Also, consumers can split the bill with their friends. Samples of these application are Dash, Zapper, Qkr!, Velocity, Cake, MyCheck, Orderella, Uncover, Flypay (Source: www.theguardian.com)
Before getting that point, a recommended solution is mobile banking which is ready-to-use method, no investment and simple. Customers can pay to restaurants via mobile banking; only saving account or mobile number is required. It is convenient for consumers; while restaurants can increase probability to sell with immediate cash. Take into our consideration that if it’s suit for your restaurant!