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PayPal boosts mobile dining strategy with POS devices

PayPal is teaming up with Viableware to introduce its digital payment system into the world of dining via a mobile point-of-sale device called Rail.

Viableware’s Rail payment platform is available in full-service restaurants, and New Orleans restaurant Tableau is the first to pilot the PayPal integration within the Rail device. Rail replicates the traditional restaurant bill presentation folder but lets consumers choose from a variety of payment methods as well as easily split a bill between diners.

“At PayPal, our goal is to make the shopping and paying experience more seamless for consumers,” said Kathy Chui, spokeswoman at PayPal, San Jose, CA.

“By integrating with Viableware’s Rail system, we can bring added convenience to full service restaurants across the U.S., and provide diners with new payment options that increase choice and flexibility,” she said.

“Working with Viableware is another way PayPal is able to further extend our reach into the restaurant vertical.”

Rail payments
The Rail payment device lets consumers choose how to pay for a meal. They can swipe a credit or debit card, use an NFC-enabled wallet such as Isis or enter their PayPal account information.

This provides restaurants and diners with the flexibility of transacting through different ways.

According to Mr. Snell, one of the benefits for consumers who choose to use PayPal to pay at a restaurant is that they do not have to worry about their credit card number being stolen by the POS system or by a server.

Another benefit for diners is that they can use Rail to split the bill, and individual consumers can pay by different methods. One diner can use a credit card to pay his half, and his friend can pay the other half with PayPal.

Viableware is also interested in integrating various ewallets such as Google Wallet in the future.

Tableau was the first restaurant to integrate PayPal into its Rail devices. It began the pilot this past Monday.

PayPal leads the way
Mr. Snell is confident that PayPal-integrated Rail devices will become a norm in the future as consumers expect to be able to pay at restaurants with different payment methods.

PayPal is also becoming more popular in other verticals and industries.

As of yesterday, PayPal will be partnering with Samsung, and Samsung app developers around the world will be able to integrate PayPal as a payout option. PayPal will also be a payment option for Samsung Apps and Samsung Hub in nine markets so that consumers can use PayPal to buy apps, music and movies.

By extending its services to new playing fields, PayPal is broadening its reach and streamlining digital payments for consumers.

“It’s really important that consumers have the ability to use those payment methods at the table,” said Joe Snell, CEO of Viableware, Kirkland, WA.

“The strategy is to open up the multitude of payments for the consumer, but we’re also doing that for the restaurant,” he said. “If the restaurant doesn’t make a move like that, they won’t be able to accept alternative payments.”

Final Take
Rebecca Borison is editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York