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Watching Mobile Wallet this Holiday Season

For many of you, the holiday shopping season is the time of the year when your focus shifts from being a hospitality executive to being a consumer. While you’re out braving the crowds, waiting for a table, or dealing with travel delays, consider how mobile technology has already changed your experience; but more importantly, how it may significantly reshape the POS even more by this time next year.

The 2011 holiday shopping season will be an important benchmark for mobile payment technology, with several major retailers having launched the Google Wallet pay-by-smartphone initiative. On the retail side, Gap deployed Google Wallet in November at more than 65 Bay Area stores. They join such leading retailers Macy’s, OfficeMax, Foot Locker, Toys “R” Us, Guess, and American Eagle Outfitters.

How these and other retailers fare with mobile wallet sales may well affect the rate at which restaurants, and in particular QSRs, choose to roll out the technology. Subway, Jamba Juice and Jack in the Box have already signed up for Google Wallet test deployments. If mobile wallet shows promise for retailers this holiday season, some restaurant operators may well see it as a viable alternative to tableside payment technology down the road. In fact, if the results from our POS Software Reader Survey are any indication, it seems that interest in mobile wallet is overtaking restaurant operators’ interest in deploying tableside payment devices. For the full POS Software Reader Survey, check out this month’s cover story, 2012 POS Software Trends.

We’ll keep monitoring mobile wallet trends this busy holiday season; you just kick back and enjoy some eggnog.

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