Pay Restaurant Tabs From The Comfort Of Your Table

If you dislike handing your credit or debit card over to restaurant employees and letting them wander off with it for a while, you’re not alone, and that’s why some restaurants are experimenting with mobile pay-at-the-table technology.

These machines should be familiar to anyone who has made a purchase in an Apple Store recently, but their use in restaurants is welcome. Especially for servers, thanks to the existence of the auto-tip button.

The device is similar to the credit and debit card systems mounted at supermarket checkout stands. Customers swipe their cards through a slot on the device and are prompted to enter personal-identification numbers on a keypad.

Once the credit or debit information is captured, the device has an easy tip authorization button on preset keys so that diners can automatically add a tip of 15 percent, 18 percent or a dollar amount of the customer’s choosing. After the authorizations are completed, the device prints a record of the transaction for the customer to sign and a copy of the receipt.

The device works through a Bluetooth communications link between the portable unit and the Micros computer system. The Bluetooth connection – a wireless system similar to the technology that enables cell phone users to link a phone with an earpiece or headset – is secured with codes that prevent hackers from intercepting data.

Great idea, and we hope it’s as secure as promised. If not, we’ll be here waiting for the inevitable massive data breaches from this system. Have you seen this in action in a restaurant near you? How did it work?

Restaurant is Nevada’s first to serve up pay-at-table technology [Las Vegas Sun]

(Photo: ninjapoodles)