From my office in Silicon Valley, I’ve watched Google and Apple gearing up for a showdown over their respective digital wallets – Google Wallet and Apple Pay — which is driving a rapidly changing landscape for mobile payments. At Fishbowl, we know that digital wallets are poised to revolutionize the consumer payment experience in restaurants. We are doing our part to support our clients in responding to these changes in consumer behavior and demand for a more streamlined experience by delivering the next generation of our Promotions Manager solution — an integration with Google Wallet.
Given the role that coupons play in the restaurant industry, we’ve partnered with Google and one of our national clients to enable the delivery of the unique Promotions Manager code from the guest’s wallet to the POS. We’ll be showing an end to end demonstration of this innovation at Google I/O this week, one of the hottest tech conferences in Silicon Valley.
It’s important for the industry to understand that merchant adoption of a technology called Near Field Communications (NFC), which is embedded into the latest versions of Android and Apple Smartphones, is a key factor in this changing landscape. To make it possible for consumers to use digital wallets, NFC must also be installed in the POS in commercial establishments. This is one of the advantages of using Promotions Manager: it is integrated into the POS. For many restaurants, the decision to deploy NFC technology will become a key decision in the coming year. It is becoming clear that NFC adoption has finally crossed a threshold and is growing rapidly. According to Juniper Research, the NFC market will surpass $180B globally by 2017.
Digital wallets will facilitate more efficient payment transactions in restaurants, but the benefits are greater than that. We’re betting that consumers will want to use their wallets to store loyalty credentials, gift cards, coupons, and all sorts of information that will give them a better dining experience. Stay tuned to this blog as we’ll update from the show and provide more insight into what the consumer experience of the (near) future looks like.