Payment trends food businesses should be aware of

28 June 2021

2020 saw incredible shifts in how we shop and pay for products and services, and there’s no doubt that it will continue to impact us for the foreseeable future. For the food industry, adapting to new trends and staying on top of innovations to deliver a better customer experience is key.

These are some of the payment trends that food businesses need to be aware of in order to thrive, but also deliver a better experience for their customers.

Touch-free payments

As a response to the pandemic, touch-free solutions have become the preferred option for many consumers. Because of this, contactless payments have accelerated quickly on a global scale, and food businesses need to adapt to accommodate this.

Whether it’s using a physical card, your phone or your smartwatch, contactless payments offer a quick and convenient solution that customers prefer. With near field communication technology or NFC, customers can also use digital wallets such as Google Pay.

According to a study by VISA, if all other factors were equal, 63% of consumers would opt for a business that offered contactless payment options, so it could be what sets your business apart from your competitors.

With authentication methods such as passcodes, facial recognition and fingerprint scanners becoming more sensitive and accurate, as well as offering security, restaurant owners and customers alike can feel confident in using these methods on a day to day basis.

Omnichannel options

Food companies have had to expand quickly and efficiently, which has resulted in a need for omnichannel commerce. In the eyes of customers, there’s no longer a separation between the online and physical presence for many food businesses, especially now pick-up and takeaway options are so popular. But customers still want to be recognised as people rather than just an anonymous order number, which is where omnichannel technology comes in.

This strategy allows a better shopping experience, allowing customers to buy their items, pay and review the purchase in the way they want. And QR codes enable this more effectively because they’re simple to use and offer safety. A growing number of restaurants and cafés are relying on QR codes to allow customers to view menus and pay for orders directly, all from their phones, minimising the need to liaise with staff.

QR codes can be placed in a number of different locations, from social media to your website, making them an effective part of a strong omnichannel strategy for food and drink businesses.

5G integration

The fifth generation of mobile technology, 5G has arrived and it offers a number of benefits for businesses in a host of sectors, including the food industry. 5G delivers incredibly fast downloads and amplifies the personalisation that companies can offer, thanks to almost real-time data. For food businesses, which can be notoriously busy, the speed and efficiency that 5G delivers is going to be incredibly popular.

“Where 4G transformed communication by connecting more people, 5G moves wireless to another level, thanks to its ability to connect more things. That is why it is being hailed as a general-purpose technology step change – a catalyst for Industrial Revolution 4.0.” – Financial Times

5G can also help with embedding payments into shopping experiences. The ways in which restaurants use 5G are still being explored, but it guarantees exciting opportunities for restaurants looking to enhance the customer experiences they offer.

One of the changes that 5G can offer is contactless technology, providing customers with a better payment experience when using their phone at the point of sale. In a food business, where busy queues and technology limits can be frustrating, this will be a massive improvement.

Thanks to geofencing and beacons, restaurants can be alerted when customers have arrived, enabling them to bring out orders without the customer needing to notify them. This provides better customer service for consumers but also allows for a more streamlined work process too, for greater efficiency.

Customers want a frictionless customer and payment experience from all sectors now, including when they purchase food, which 5G’s payment options can enable them to deliver.

Final thoughts

Food businesses need to pivot and adopt digitisation to keep their customers connected and grow their businesses. Customers want the ability to make transactions in a convenient and flexible way, whenever and wherever they like, without feeling like their data or money is under threat.

When used correctly, the likes of contactless payments, QR codes and omnichannel payment strategies can be a powerful way to set your business apart from others in the industry, while also delivering a great customer experience.

About the Author

Kafoodle guest blogger Sophie Bishop is a Brighton-based health practitioner, passionate about sustainability and the health and wellbeing sector.

Check out what Sophie has been up to over on Twitter: @SophBishJourno