NCR's Cloud-Based Mobile Pay: City Winery Will Drink to That
NCR has put its payment know-how into a new cloud-based solution with the somewhat misleading title of Mobile Pay. "Making payments is something people want to do, but it's not sufficient," Mike Finley, vice president and CTO of hosted solutions at NCR, told reporters at a Dec. 4 event at City Winery, an early adopter of the subscription-based software. "If everyone's going to get something out of this, it has to do more than just make payments." With Mobile Pay, restaurant customers can indeed pay their bills from any mobile device, but they're also offered mid-meal features like the ability to page a server, order another drink, look over a bill before the server brings it, or interact with the restaurant, setting up an account where past orders can be viewed or sharing details about the venue through social networking sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn. A restaurant can also link the solution to rewards systems. With Gartner expecting mobile payments to reach 448 million users by 2016, Finley points out how slow the adoption of near-field communication (NFC)—a technology that's become synonymous with mobile payments—has been. "A big part of [Mobile Pay's development]," said Finley, "was being able to start where we are, with people using the phones that are already in their pockets."
In August, City Winery became an early Mobile Pay customer. An untraditional Manhattan venue, it makes wine on the premises—and offers classes so customers can join in—has a restaurant and tasting bar and also a 300-plus-seat concert space. With Mobile Pay, customers can unobtrusively order another glass of wine mid-show, or settle a bill without having to wait for a server.