Restaurants must perform ‘hygiene’ on QR codes

With the rise of QR codes, QR code fraud has increased.

Last month, the FBI issued a public service announcement warning that cybercriminals have tampered with these codes to redirect victims to malicious sites that steal sensitive information. For restaurants, that means being more careful about verifying the codes they use to power contactless menus and payment capabilities.

Read more: FBI warns of cybercrime by QR code

“QR codes have become a vital resource for restaurants,” Mark Walz, chief technology officer of San Francisco, Calif.-based payments and software company SpotOn, told PYMNTS in an interview. “We’ve seen QR codes being hijacked around the world, and now it’s happening in the United States, so restaurants just need to take a few precautions and perform daily hygiene, if you will, around these QR codes.”

He added that restaurants should check regularly to make sure the codes are the ones they have published and are directing to the correct sites.

Certainly, QR codes have become commonplace in restaurants of all kinds across the country, according to data from the latest edition of PYMNTS’ Digital Divide report, “The Digital Divide Report: Technology As A Catalyst For Restaurant Purchases,” created in collaboration with Paytronix. The study, which was conducted in early December and included a balanced census survey of more than 2,400 American adults, found that 43% of consumers eat at full-service restaurants (FSRs) with QR-coded menus, and 32% at quick service restaurants. restaurants (QSR) with the same.

See more : How Restaurants Can Leverage Order Limit Tools As Delivery Demand Grows

One size does not fit all

Ben Pryor, head of innovation at SpotOn, added that as fine dining establishments reduce their use of QR codes, other types of restaurants – those that “have a unique style of service, therefore a bar environment / nightclub, food hall, those multi-hyphenated business types,” as well as fast-casual brands and QSRs — continue to “lean” into technology.

QR codes are important for a relatively small but not insignificant share of diners. The “Technology As A Catalyst For Restaurant Purchases” study noted that 19% of consumers said the availability of paid QR codes would encourage them to make restaurant purchases, and 17% said the same of a QR code end to end. – end of experience.

Across the industry, restaurants are increasingly looking for technology to meet their unique and often ever-changing needs. Pryor noted that restaurants are looking for “an extremely lightweight and flexible system that, depending on the type of business someone is running, can turn features on or off.”

He said these features include ordering technologies such as QR codes, delivery pods and kiosks, as well as payment systems such as portable point-of-sale (POS) terminals.

For example, he cited a beer garden/food hall that activates its handhelds on busy nights to enable faster turnover and noted that many restaurants have enabled and disabled various off-site options at different times during the week.

Fidelity to own device

Discussing how payment technologies can influence customer loyalty, Pryor noted that consumers are more likely to return if they can interact with the restaurant through their own devices, which, at this point, “pays[l] as an attachment of the individual consumer.

He added, “We find that consumers are generally much more comfortable from a data, security, etc. perspective when interacting with their own device.”

Just under one in four consumers would be encouraged to make more restaurant purchases if they could pay with their digital wallet, according to data from the Technology As A Catalyst study. The report found that 23% of restaurant customers would be encouraged by the feature and 40% said they would be encouraged by the ability to pay online. Additionally, the study found that 40% of consumers visit FSRs that offer mobile device payment capabilities, and 45% visit QSRs that offer the same.

The future of restaurant payments

Pryor noted that restaurants and their customers are increasingly implementing Buy It Now, Pay Later (BNPL), though he doesn’t expect the payment method to take hold for consumers anytime soon. daily purchases from restaurants.

” We see [BNPL] are entering restaurants in smaller numbers, primarily because transaction dollar amounts are much smaller [than retail],” he said. “We see it with … booking deposits for large groups.”

Research from PYMNTS’ January study, “Main Street Merchant Index: Optimism Amid Inflation Edition,” a Melio collaboration that surveyed 765 Main Street USA business owners about their current situation and future plans, found that while only 8% of food, entertainment and accommodation companies currently offer BNPL, a full 25% plan to implement BNPL next year.

Get the report: Optimism in the face of inflation

Within five years, Walz predicted, restaurants will use a frictionless model whereby payment is seamlessly integrated into the experience, powered by near-field communication (NFC) and/or biometrics using own devices. of consumers, depending on how privacy regulatory standards play out.

“So you just walk in, and usually the systems at that establishment will know who you are and accept payment, and you might just have to press your watch,” he said. . “Almost like the Amazon Go model but redesigned for a restaurant.”

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NEW PYMNTS DATA: 70% OF BNPL USERS USE BANK PAYMENT OPTIONS, IF AVAILABLE

On: Seventy percent of BNPL users say they would prefer to use the installment plans offered by their banks – if only they were made available. PYMNTS’ Banking On Buy Now, Pay Later: Installment Payments and the Untapped Opportunity of FIssurveyed over 2,200 US consumers to better understand how consumers view banks as BNPL providers in a sea of ​​BNPL pure-players.

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