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PayDragon mobile payments app lets food truck customers skip the line

Several food trucks in the Los Angeles area are using a new mobile payments app so that customers can easily place orders and pay for them without having to wait in line.

The PayDragon mobile payments app enables users to pre-order from the menus for seven food trucks and pay for their purchases. Users can also scan QR codes on the sides of the trucks to initiate a transaction and find special offers.

“Food trucks are by their very nature mobile,” said Hamilton Chan, founder and CEO of Paperlinks and PayDragon, Los Angeles. “Because they are always roving around town, consumers have become accustomed to walking to nearby trucks and ordering their food the old-fashioned way – standing in line behind a window.

“We feel like this process is ripe for technological disruption,” he said. “The demographic of consumers frequenting food trucks is very tech-savvy and uniformly smartphone-toting, so a mobile solution that allows consumers to speed through lines makes a lot of sense.

Express lane
Some other mobile payment solutions enable consumers to pay when they reach the front of the line. In comparison, with PayDragon users can order and pay without having to stand in line, thereby saving customers time.

The food trucks  offering payment via PayDragon include The Bun Truck, CambalaCHE’s, Auntie’s Fry Bread, Chunk n Chip, The Grill Sergeant, The Wien, and Rounds Premium Burgers.

Once users download the app, they are asked to enter their billing preferences. After this is accomplished, they are able to browse, order and pay items from participating restaurants.

When Users click on the Discover tab, the app’s GPS locator indentifies nearby merchants who accept PayDragon as well as any special offers from merchants in the vicinity.

After placing an order, users wait to be notified via the app that their order is ready and walk up to the register to pick it up.

Users can also scan PayDragon QR codes on the sides of some trucks to be taken to a one-tap shopping experience. A few trucks have also placed a sticker over their pickup windows saying “PayDragon Express Lane.”

Other features of the app include a game layer enabling users to earn points towards special offers from merchants, digital receipts for transactions and a Facebook integration.

One-tap ordering
PayDragon works directly with merchants to provide them a simple POS system that integrates with smartphones.  When an order is marked as fulfilled on the merchant’s POS, a notification is sent directly to the consumer’s smartphone indicating that the order is ready.

The app was first trialed at the recent 2012 South by Southwest Interactive and Music Festival in Austin, TX.

“At South by Southwest, we learned that consumers and merchants really appreciate the simplicity of the PayDragon flow,” Mr. Chan said. “Consumers do not need a huge menu of options; it only complicates things.

“With the large volume of orders received at SXSW, we feel like consumers proved that the simplified approach of PayDragon is indeed useful and that one-tap ordering and payment is the future,” he said.