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PayPal grabs bigger share of restaurant market with app expansion

PayPal is rolling out two new mobile features in Australia and Britain that streamline the checkout process in restaurants.

Both features have been incorporated into PayPal’s iPhone and Android apps in the United States and are now being used as part of a bigger push into international markets. PayPal is targeting both fast casual restaurants for speed and sit-down locations for convenience.

“UK and Australia are only the start to the rollout of a wider push to allow consumers to save money and time by paying through their smartphone,” said Adriana Higuera, public relations specialist at PayPal, San Jose, CA.

“The pay-at-table and order ahead features will eventually be rolled out across Europe in the near future,” she said.

Mobile payments
PayPal rolled out the in-store and ordering features in the U.S. in April 2013 as part of a partnership with Magento after running pilot programs for brands including Jamba Juice (see story).

PayPal also has a partnership in the U.S. that lets with Eat24 members order and pay via an app.

The pay-at-table feature uses location to let consumers check-in at restaurant to open a tab. At the end of the meal, consumers can checkout via their PayPal account.

PayPal’s order-ahead feature lets diners bypass lines and place orders that can be picked up at specific times.

PayPal is launching the mobile payment features with the British restaurants Wagamama, Prezzo and Gourmet Burger Kitchen, each of which is using the technology in different ways.

Consumers can place Wagamama orders through the PayPal app to pick them up later and Gourmet Burger Kitchen diners can show their profile picture within the app to pick up orders.

The same features are being rolled out to several restaurants in Australia.

The in-restaurant experience is a hot spot in mobile right now in building up loyalty programs and driving incremental foot traffic.

The move into international markets is the latest example of how PayPal is aggressively luring in merchants with mobile payment services.

In addition to restaurants, PayPal is also courting retailers and brands to also incorporate mobile payments.

Picking the right option?
The news also comes at a time when restaurants are trying to develop their own branded mobile apps to increase loyalty and bring in foot traffic.

For example, British bakery chain Greggs is rolling out its own reward and payment app (see story).

At the same time though, other retailers such as JD Sports are choosing to incorporate PayPal directly into their apps as a way to speed up the checkout process with a trusted payment source (see story).

“PayPal’s mission is to make it easier for people to get more of what they want from their money – anytime, anywhere and any way,” Ms. Higuera said.

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York