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How ePOS systems are making the world of fast food even faster

We speak to James Frost, Chief Marketing Officer at Worldpay on the advantages of using an electronic point of sale (ePOS) system for quick service food businesses.

Why is having an effective ePOS system essential for food-to-go/quick service restaurant businesses?

In fast-paced restaurant environments where speed and convenience can be a deciding factor in terms of where consumers spend their money, having a simple and flexible ePOS system is essential to offer a quick and seamless payment experience. UK consumer card spending overtook cash for the first time last year1, and our own research has found a quarter of UK consumers avoid shops that don’t take cards, while a third (30%)2 say they only use cash if absolutely necessary. 

Contactless technology in particular has emerged as a must-have feature for fast food outlets, speeding up service by approximately 7 seconds compared to chip and pin payments. We have already seen Britain’s high street fast food outlets driving the revolution in contactless technology, with the sector accounting for 48% of the total UK contactless transactions processed by Worldpay in 2015. 

What are the advantages of using ePOS technology?

By using ePOS technology, businesses are well positioned to process payments swiftly and securely, speeding up the transaction process and resulting in shorter queuing times. A solution such as My Business Hub, which is an intuitive,  integrated, all-in-one tablet based point of sale product  gives the flexibility to serve customers throughout the restaurant, offering a more personalised customer experience and also reducing waiting time, which is vital in a fast-food environment. Furthermore, features such as a customisable product catalogue enable fast and intuitive ordering. 

The latest till technology from Worldpay enables businesses to track sales through real-time transaction reporting and reconcile payments more easily, making the process much easier for businesses and helping to cut a huge amount of time spent on administration. The tablet also allows businesses to use the device for other functions, whether that be ordering stock online or checking emails and responding to customer enquiries. 

What are the latest trends in terms of ePOS and till technology?

In such a competitive landscape restaurant owners are looking for new ways to engage with their customers and offer a frictionless dining experience.   Helping to address this challenge, Worldpay’s ePOS solution gives businesses the freedom to take payments anywhere on their shop floor with a detachable tablet, helping to eliminate queues and offering a more individual customer experience. Mobile Point of Sale (mPOS) is one of the growing tech trends to look out for over the next 12 months as adoption rates are expected to increase thanks to benefits such as faster checkout, shorter lines and increased upsell and cross-sell opportunities. 

Worldpay has also seen a rise in customer apps that offer convenient ways to order. An example you might have seen is the one offered by the Harris & Hoole coffee chain. Their app lets users load their payment card so that payment becomes truly invisible. After the card is loaded, the customer simply walks into a Harris & Hoole store, orders and then gets asked if they want to pay via the app. If they say yes the payment is automatically taken creating a truly seamless, invisible payment experience. 

What should food-to-go/quick service restaurant owners look out for when buying new ePOS or till equipment?

Restaurant owners should look for an intelligent and integrated payments solution when purchasing new till equipment, to help them run their business more efficiently and professionally. With the modern consumer expecting speed of service, it is vital to be able to take both card and cash payments from your customers and reconcile with a few taps.  Businesses can also benefit by choosing an ePOS solution which links to their card payment devices so they only have to key in the transactions once. And finally, if possible, they should select an ePOS that offers both hardware and software as one integrated package. 

What support is available to businesses who use Worldpay ePOS and till technology?

Supporting our customers embrace digital innovation is at the centre of our business strategy. Customers of Worldpay receive all the support they need, whether it’s installing their card terminal, obtaining an ePOS, getting set up for online payments or becoming PCI DSS compliant. With My Business Hub, we have designed a solution that is easy to assemble, so you just unpack, plug in and download the My Business Hub app from the Google Play Store to start taking transactions. 

Our solution is also designed to evolve with your business as you grow. The simple app gives businesses instant access to the very latest technology from Worldpay with automatic updates when new features and functions are added. 

The support we offer stretches beyond the till itself, as we want to empower small businesses to embrace the latest payment technology in the day to day running of their business. This summer we ran a national awareness campaign in partnership with the Association of Town and City Management to help small and independent retailers understand how the latest payment technology can help them run and grow their businesses. For more information on the campaign please visit the dedicated iStreet page, provides practical guidance from a panel of small business experts.  

What future developments can we expect in this market?

The rise of mobile and electronic payments means faster and more efficient purchases - our children are already more tech savvy with their mobile phones than we are and we expect the ease of carrying just one device rather than a wallet and phone to win out for them in the end. Retailers not offering contactless payment options are in danger of being left behind. 

With the number of smartphones worldwide predicted to grow to 5.6 billion by 2019 - transactions through mobile digital wallets are expected to reach US, $1.5 trillion by 2017 and the use of Near Field Communication in mobile phones, in particular Apple Pay and Android Pay will be instrumental in this growth.This means the ability to accept card and alternative payment methods should be a top priority for restaurant owners and retailers looking to future proof the way they serve their customers.   

1 Payments UK
2 Figures quoted relate to findings from two surveys conducted by Worldpay in May 2016
Ericsson Mobility Report