Many companies are looking into new technologies to make bill payment at restaurants waiter-free through the use of smartphone apps and mobile payment systems that connect to restaurant POS systems.Capitalizing on this trend are PayPal’s ‘Pay at Table’ service and it’s partner MyCheck in Tel Aviv as well as start-ups like Dash, Tabbedout and Cover in the US and Flypay in the UK. Now, Ukranian start-up Settle is looking to throw it’s hat in the ring.Settle recently got a $1.5 million funding injection from a venture fund called Life based in Moscow. The funds will be used to roll out the new technology in Eastern Europe, starting in Kiev and followed by large releases in Moscow and Warsaw.
Settle will provide customers at restaurants with a mobile payment service that allows you to order, pay and tip from your own smartphone, with the aim of reducing the time it takes to pay for a bill. Settle won’t even have to store most card information. It will just connect to one of it’s many Eastern European bank partners.
To prep for the influx of mobile payment customers, Settle-equipped restaurants are given tablets with an app that allows them to view detailed analytics as well as customer payment information. As Settle becomes more developed, it will be able to integrate with restaurant POS systems directly and alert customers to special offers on their phone when they walk inside.
Settle developers also want to expand their technology to gas stations, where many people in Eastern Europe are still required to pay cashiers in person, resulting in lengthy lines. They may also expand into the taxi service and retail POS markets.
“The technology looks promising, we are big advocates of technology that enables a better customer service experience,” says Eric Catania, CEO of Digital Reality, Inc. “We like to put new technology in the hands of restaurant servers and cashiers who can deliver an ever better human interaction than before. However, I would be hesitant to completely replace the human interaction, as it’s important for branding and the customer experience. ”
Mobile integration in restaurants is becoming increasingly popular in the West as well, as shown by developer E la Carte opening up to outside developers. The gaming and restaurant management technology company already provides table tablets at Applebee’s restaurants, and wants to allow other developers to sell new apps on it’s platform.Social media jukebox app seller Rockbot has already taken advantage of the opportunity. E la Carte CEO believes that the interactive experience of mobile integration will keep customers coming back.