When it comes to payments in the hospitality sector, the adage: "The more things change, the more they stay the same," clearly doesn’t ring true. Guests’ needs continue to evolve, creating new payment technology-related opportunities and imperatives. Even long- standing — or somewhat long-standing — obstacles on the path to payment technology implementation are starting to give way.
Impediments to wider-spread mobile wallet acceptance remain — but change is coming.
Some of these stumbling blocks originate with mobile wallet providers, whose use of NFC rather than QR codes as an enabling technology has proven problematic. “This (approach) has, so far, required the adoption of new hardware by merchants, some of whom have just finished deploying EMV hardware and don’t have the appetite to deploy NFC- or Bluetooth-enabled hardware,” says John Spencer, managing director and global industry lead, hospitality at Accenture.
Despite this, the appetite for mobile payment options is impacting restaurant investments. According to Hospitality Technology’s 2019 POS Software Trend Report, enabling new payment options was a top driver for POS software upgrades in 2019 for 53% of restaurants. More than half of restaurateurs surveyed (56%) said that mobile wallet acceptance was key feature for next POS purchases.