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Biometric payment technology changing restaurant experience for guests

Experts and analysts predict self-service growth
Biometric payment technology changing restaurant experience for guests

Constraints brought about by the coronavirus pandemic have led to significant changes in the way restaurant guests get access to menus, make orders and pay, with self-service kiosks and Point of Sale terminals presenting an opportunity to meet changing customer expectations with biometrics, Fast Casual writes.

Brian Whitney, senior vice president of hospitality at food retail enterprise Appetize was among speakers at a recent webinar which examined this phenomenon. The webinar was held under the theme “Your POS isn’t just for cashiers anymore. It’s for customers too.”

Whitney noted the rise in order and payments technologies for restaurants, saying contactless and cashless systems were becoming the order of the day. He also noted that POS systems at restaurants were also no longer a preserve for cashiers, but for guests who prefer using them for touchless transactions.

Whitney said while the use of contactless technology is expanding, the use of QR codes is becoming popular too, with statistics showing that 71 per cent of restaurant guests would prefer to make use of self-service kiosks rather than engage with restaurant staff.  Contactless payments can be secured with face biometrics, he said, especially as mask-wearing recedes.

“What tools can we give our guests to transact with us that will require less labor?… Today’s guest wants to transact the way they want to transact,” Fast Casual quoted him as saying, adding that customers can do this online, by mobile app, mobile web, and grab-and-go kiosks, among others.

Examples of self-service restaurant technology utilizing face biometrics includes a deployment of PopID by Piestro earlier this year.

Demand grows for self-service kiosks

Meanwhile, a market study report has projected that the demand for self-service kiosks would grow by 11 per cent over the period 2021 to 2031, with voice-based ones expected to take the demand lead.

The report published by research and consulting firm Fact.MR notes that although touch-based self-service kiosk are currently en vogue, customers are expected to show a preference for voice-based alternatives, with the goal of reducing the risk of virus spread from touching surfaces.

According to the report, voice-based kiosks would not only enable customers make requests in a natural and conversional manner, it will ensure an enhancement of customer experience.

Some key takeaways from the study include the fact that the payments sector is forecast to be a major driver for self-kiosks sales; Asia Pacific is set to dominate market revenue in 2021, and continue to do so through 2031; the U.S. market is expected to rise significantly through 2031; voice-based self serviced kiosks will help the kiosk business gain traction again after it was badly hit in 2020 due to the pandemic; and that the retail sector has been the fastest growing end-use segment because of the rise in the high disposable income class in the last five years.

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