OpenTable Mobile Payment Program

At a conference in San Francisco in February, OpenTable—an app best known for table reservations—announced that it would be expanding to build a mobile payment program for some restaurants.  The market is full of competitors, all with a variety of means of approaching the task.  Competitors range from small startups to payment giants such as PayPal.  Tableside paying has become popular, mostly for its cut back on paper and complications in turning over tables.  However, methods of completing the task have varied greatly; some rely on an app installed on a smartphone, while others depend on a tablet provided to the restaurant.

OpenTable, Mobile App

According to an article recently completed by Tech Crunch, in the case of OpenTable, the company does have certain advantages to tackling the popular market.  The app is already a household name in its ease of use for reserving tables; therefore, many Americans already have the app on their phone and would not need to seek out additional software or applications just to employ the payment method.  In 2010, OpenTable claimed that it helped seat two million diners per month.  By last summer, the mobile app represented thirty six percent of all diners helped through OpenTable’s services.  Now, that figure has increased to helping a total of fifteen million diners a month.  This seems to imply that many in the nation already employ the app; this fact is confirmed by Google Play data, which shows that the app is on millions of Android phones.  It is also believed that this figure for iPhone users would be even higher.

From there, if the user already has the app, it becomes a simple matter of uploading a credit or debit card to the account.  No scanning is needed and the user need not ‘check in’ to the restaurant to employ the payment component.  The iPhone edition of the app shows a detailed view of the bill, adjustable tip suggestions by percentages, emails the receipt and even includes an opportunity to use payment options the restaurant doesn’t accept.

Dozens of restaurants in New York City already accept OpenTable’s payment component.  Eighteen restaurants have chosen the app in San Francisco.  By the end of the 2014, OpenTable hopes to introduce payment plan to twenty more cities.