In 2020, over 111 million Americans reported regularly using an online food delivery service like Grubhub, DoorDash, Uber Eats or Postmates. One thing entrepreneurs should note if they’re aspiring to get into the business is that these established platforms offer various payment methods. There is a growing preference for contactless payments, which many insiders foresee becoming the norm even as social distancing is lifted.
However, for SMEs, the shift to cashless payments may be confusing given the many options out there. While some may choose to just offer one payment option, we find that customer satisfaction and patronage is guaranteed when you have a variety of payment options. This ensures that you can service a wider market while also receiving your payments faster.
Here we’ve listed some cashless payment options that will be convenient for you and your customers.
1. Card Payments
Credit cards have been the most common method of payment in the U.S. since 2018. This means, it will be the easiest and most familiar method for you and your consumers to adopt. Aside from credit cards, debit cards are also another plastic card payment option to consider. Though less popular than credit, debit cards are still valid forms of payment.
The main difference is, of course, that you use existing money for debit payments, while you open a line of credit—or money you don’t have yet—with credit card purchases. An article on comparing debit and credit cards by Petal explains that credit payments are preferred by consumers who want to build credit and will be able to responsibly pay off their bills so they don‘t accrue a large amount of interest. For your food delivery service, offering card payments is a must to expand your market reach. Plus, they are among the most secure options for consumers and businesses. To avoid any payment disputes, familiarize your team with card payments and best practices such as data protection and providing receipts.
2. E-Wallet Payments
Nowadays, almost anybody with a smart phone has an e-wallet or digital wallet. In the U.S., some of the most popular digital wallets are Cash App, PayPal, and Venmo. Because these apps are easy to sign up with, people can send and receive payments by simply inputting a phone number, e-mail, unique ID, or scanning a code. Most e-wallets do charge a small transaction fee (around 10%), but it does come with a promise of fast transactions.
Since this form of payment is still a little new, there may still be a few hiccups along the way. In CNBC’s post about cashless concerns, a spike in consumer complaints has been noted in e-wallets concerning privacy and customer service. Thus, if possible, try asking your patrons which e-wallet service the majority of them would prefer you to offer via a survey on your site or social media channels.
3. QR Code Payments
A previously ignored technology, QR codes have been around since 1994 but have only been embraced in the mainstream following the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, just last year, American households who used QR codes increased by two million. On top of this, the convenience of a QR code has streamlined the payment process since all the user has to do is scan the code.
In the food service industry, you could optimize QR codes for both in-store and delivery transactions. For instance, a QR code can eliminate the need for menus in dine-in transactions, as is being done in many hotels, airport lounges, and restaurants in the United States. Meanwhile, for delivery services, you could include a QR code option in your checkout process for payment completion. QR codes are all uniquely generated so there is little chance of your payments getting misdirected. Depending on your preference, you can choose between a straightforward static QR code or an optimized dynamic QR code.
Having an online food delivery service is now an expectation for the entire restaurant industry. In order to compete and thrive, Foodesoft advises businesses to introduce new tech-enabled initiatives that enhance the consumer experience. As you continue to pivot in the ‘New Normal’, it’s time that you add these payment options to your own business strategy.