VeriFone Holdings, Inc. announced results of the first wave of installations of its ON THE SPOT wireless card payment solutions for restaurants of any size and venue, ranging from pub to casual family-style, to fine dining locations.
VeriFone’s pay-at-the-table products and services allow operators to accept lower-cost debit card payment, improve operational efficiency and provide consumers protection from card fraud. In a broad proof-of-concept phase over the past six months, more than 30 installations have been implemented with pioneering channel partners in a wide variety of restaurant environments and geographic locations in the Northeast, Southeast, Midwest and West Coast. Intense consumer interest has spurred local television news coverage of installations at Fatz CafÃÂ© in Winder, GA, Aqua Blue in Atlanta, Bouchee in Boston, and several others.
VeriFone is providing restaurant operators with three methods of deployment suited for just about any restaurant environment: stand-alone use, hosted managed services and integration with restaurant management systems (RMS).
“Ironically, restaurants were once the early adopters of card technology, but have largely sat still in recent years while other retail environments have adapted to changing demands for customer-activated transactions,” said William Atkinson, VeriFone executive vice president, Payment Systems. “Working with a variety of partners, through varied channels, VeriFone is determined to revolutionize payment at the table. ISOs are a strategic ally in our efforts to serve the large audience of small chains and independents. ”
PARTNERING WITH ISOs
VeriFone is working with ISOs (Independent Sales Organizations) and acquirers to target the estimated 300,000 small chains and independent restaurants that represent a potential market of 1.5 million wireless payment systems suited either to a managed service offering or stand-alone use. At the mid-tier, chains with 10-59 locations, VeriFone is working with RMS dealers and value-added resellers to provide ON THE SPOT payment solutions integrated with leading RMS systems from MICROS, Radiant/Aloha, and others.
“The value proposition is simple,” said Atkinson, “maximizing profitability and improving customer service.” Utilizing Wi-Fi or GPRS communications with VeriFone’s revolutionary Vx 670, restaurant operators large and small can increase efficiency by reducing the number of steps servers need to complete a card payment transaction and speeding up table turns as customers no longer have to wait to complete payment.
EASY, FAST AND SECURE Consumer response of the ON THE SPOT service has been tremendously positive. In a consumer survey of restaurant patrons who experienced the ON THE SPOT solution:
87% of respondents said they had a “high” sense of security using the system. 85% of respondents said the system was faster than conventional payment methods at restaurants 52% of respondents said being able to use the PIN for their purchased would be important to them.
With the recent national publicity regarding identity theft and card skimming, consumers are keenly aware of the growing risks associated with using their cards in environments where they must hand over possession of their card. With ON THE SPOT, the card never has to leave the consumer’s hand. “Guests like the elimination of any potential fraud and they find the Vx 670 to be interactive and fun,” said John Metz, owner of the Aqua Blue restaurant in Roswell, GA. “We like it because it helps move tables on a busy night.”
In addition, restaurant operators can take advantage of the increasing use of debit cards by utilizing PIN debit transactions to decrease transaction fees. Restaurant operators utilizing the Vx 670 with VeriFone’s managed services portal have been able to convert on average 39 percent of card transactions to PIN debit, which for high volume restaurants can add up to a $200-to-$300 in card interchange fee savings per month, per location.
MANAGED SERVICES PORTAL
The managed services portal provides restaurants with many of the advantages of integrated systems without having to invest in RMS. Transaction information is stored on a remote IP gateway and any Vx 670 in a particular restaurant can initiate or complete a transaction.
Batch closing can be pre-programmed on the gateway, which also provides sophisticated reporting functions and transaction history that can be reviewed from any PC with Internet access. In addition, completing tip capture at the point of service saves time at the end of the shift, as no adjustments are required.
Smaller locations with two-to-four Vx 670 systems may also choose to operate in stand-alone mode, with each system using GPRS communications, or Wi-Fi, to communicate directly with a transaction processor.
“VeriFone is working with every tier in the restaurant market to provide a solution that meets the needs of each restaurant operator who is looking to modernize the payment process,” Atkinson said. “We’re also providing service delivery and financing options to suit every budget.”
VeriFone’s PCI PED-approved Vx 670 is the smallest all-in-one wireless handheld payment device, built with the consumer in mind. Available with either GPRS or Wi-Fi communication options, the Vx 670 operates utilizing VeriFone’s ServPOS software, a specially designed restaurant and hospitality application that provides restaurant and hospitality merchants with a highly configurable and flexible framework for payment at the point of service.