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PayPal check-in enables mobile payments at Toronto restaurants

PayPal Canada has teamed with restaurant technology provider TouchBistro to integrate the former’s cloud-based check-in functionality with the latter’s point-of-sale technology. The goal is to make it easy for restaurants such as Jimmy’s Coffee in Toronto to accept mobile payments and interact with their customers in new ways.

“If a customer checks-in with the PayPal mobile app, their photograph shows up at our TouchBistro iPad POS, and we greet them by name or have a conversation about their profile pic,” said Penny Vine, store manager at Jimmy’s Coffee, Toronto.

“It’s driving a whole new level of service, loyalty and convenience,” she said. “Our customers can now check-in with the PayPal mobile app before they enter the store and walk away with their coffee and snack  completely wallet-free.”

Customer engagement
The program is being piloted at select cafes and restaurants in Toronto such as Jimmy’s Coffee.

Customers at these locations can check-in using the PayPal mobile app and pay using their PayPal account.

“PayPal’s check-in functionality integrated with TouchBistro’s iPad technology allows businesses to engage and interact with their customers in new and exciting ways without having to invest in new and expensive hardware at the point of sale,” said Darrell MacMullin, managing director at PayPal Canada, Toronto.

“Jimmy’s Coffee, a popular Toronto coffee shop in the King West neighborhood that previously accepted only cash and debit card payments, is one of the first restaurants to accept PayPal mobile payments at their TouchBistro iPad POS,” he said

“At peak hours, Jimmy’s Coffee staff finds that people who pay with PayPal help to keep the lines moving faster as they don’t have to take out their wallet, look for cash or punch-in their debit card details.”

Low barrier to entry
When customers check-in, their name and profile picture shows up at the point of sale, enabling restaurant staff to indentify customers, greet them by name and process their payments faster than when customers pay with cash or a card.

Merchants can find and charge a customer within the TouchBistro POS.

PayPal has chosen to collaborate with existing POS providers so that businesses do not have to install new hardware to deliver mobile payment experiences to their customers.

This addresses one of the hurdles to wider adoption of mobile payments, which is that merchants do not want to invest in new POS hardware.

Faster transactions
PayPal currently has five million active users in Canada.

The solution is available to all of TouchBistro’s customers, including cafes, food trucks and restaurants.

PayPal is already working with numerous retailers in the United States to enable customers to pay with their name and profile picture. A similar service is also available at a handful of merchants in Britain.

“Consumers want to save time, save money and get great and personalized service when they walk into a restaurant,” Mr. MacMullin said. “When a customer checks-in with the PayPal mobile app, their name and profile picture shows up at TouchBistro’s point of sale, making it easy for restaurant staff to identify customers, greet them by name and process their payment a lot faster than accepting cash or cards.”

Final Take
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York