One way to improve restaurant business efficiency is with restaurant payment technology. In fact, integrated payments and associated systems help streamline restaurant operations and daily processes.
Connecting your payment systems to other components of your restaurant business leads to tangible benefits. These include increased productivity, time savings, and improved customer satisfaction.
This is where integrated payments come into play. So, what are integrated payments? Keep reading to learn what they are and how they can benefit your restaurant business.
Integrated Payments Meaning: What Are Integrated Payments?
Integrated payments allow businesses to skip the manual process of entering transaction data in eCommerce accounting sheets by automating the accounting process. In the restaurant industry, integrated payments connect your POS systems with your payment processor. This is done to allow data to seamlessly flow from one platform to the other.
These integrated payment solutions eliminate the need for employees to manually type in the customer’s card information into card readers. This is because these restaurant payment options have all the necessary information automatically transmitted using payment terminals.
Key Takeaway: Seamlessly connecting your payment systems to other business components can lead to numerous benefits. These benefits include increased productivity, higher customer satisfaction, and time savings. This is what integrated payments can do for your restaurant business.
Integrated vs Non-Integrated Payments
Now that we’ve answered the question, “What are integrated payments?” it’s important to understand how they differ from non-integrated payments. To better explain the difference, take a look at the following examples.
Integrated Payments Example
If your POS system has integrated payments, the following example resembles the checkout process step-by-step:
- Start a new transaction by scanning the item’s SKU number or keying in their restaurant bill.
- Choose the payment method your customer prefers to use (cash, credit, debit, gift card, etc.).
- Your restaurant POS system will automatically transmit this information to your terminal. If you have a customer facing display, it will prompt the customer to complete the payment. Once this is done, it will automatically communicate the information back to the POS system and complete the transaction.
If you have an online ordering platform for your restaurant, you may also accept payments online. The following is a step-by-step process of how integrated payments work online:
- The customer finds the items they want and adds them to their cart.
- At checkout, the customer enters their personal and payment information to complete their order without being redirected to another site.
Non-Integrated Payments Example
Non-integrated payments don’t communicate with POS systems. The example below shows the step-by-step process of a non-integrated transaction at a brick and mortar restaurant:
- Start a new transaction by scanning or keying in the items.
- Choose the payment method that the customer prefers to use (cash, credit, debit, gift card, etc.).
- Manually input the total order amount into your terminal.
- After the payment is complete, the terminal will print receipts for the business and the customer.
- Manually mark the order as paid and complete the transaction in your POS.
For a restaurant with online ordering and a non-integrated payment system, the transaction process may take longer. The following is an example of how to place an online order with a non-integrated payment system:
- The customer finds the items they want and adds them to their cart.
- At checkout, the customer enters their personal information.
- When it comes time for the customer to enter their payment information, they are redirected to a third-party payment platform, such as PayPal.
- Once the customer enters their payment information, and it has been authorized, they are redirected back to the restaurant’s website. A confirmation page verifies the order and concludes the transaction.
6 Benefits of Integrated Payments
Restaurant integrated payments make the checkout process seamless. They also provide many benefits for restaurant businesses.
Here are six benefits of having an integrated payment system:
1. Better Customer Experience
With an integrated payment system, you can ensure a speedy checkout process such as with mobile payments. As a restaurant manager or owner, you can improve customer service by ensuring that customers can quickly pay for their meals.
Integrated payments double as a customer database. They track customer information such as their previous transactions. With this information, you can offer customers a more personalized experience.
Restaurants can use customer information to create targeted restaurant marketing campaigns or tailor their loyalty program. The data can also be used to track sales trends.
2. Reduce Errors
Some restaurants may be able to handle daily operations by using non-integrated payment systems. However, they are more prone to data entry errors.
On the other hand, restaurants with integrated payment systems can reduce the risk of human errors. This is because they don’t have to manually enter transactions into the POS and payment terminals. Instead, this information is transferred automatically.
A way to reduce restaurant monthly expenses is to invest in restaurant technology that makes sense. That includes integrated payment solutions.
3. Save Time
Another benefit of having integrated payments at your restaurant is that it saves time. Integrated payment systems communicate with your POS system. Because of this, you don’t have to manually enter information.
Since transaction information is automatically transmitted to your POS, you can shorten the overall payment processing time. This saves you and your customers time.
End-of-day (EOD) reconciliation is also quick and simple due to the fact that there is no need for manual entry. All the order totals and payment types are automatically reported in your POS systems.
4. Improved Security
Security is always a huge factor, especially when it comes to restaurant tech and current restaurant technology trends. Integrated payments reduce the risk of fraud because of the hardware and software that are involved in securely processing the payments.
Many integrated payment systems offer additional services such as tokenization, Europay, Mastercard, Visa (EMV payment), and end-to-end encryption. These services add extra security to the payment process.
5. Streamline Operations
All business operations within your restaurant can be streamlined with integrated payments. This is because the system automates the accounting process and saves time while avoiding human errors.
Accounting processes are easier to complete thanks to the immediate access to transaction data. The transaction history provides real-time updates, so you can always have accurate accounting information.
6. Collect Important Customer Data
During the point of sale, customer data can be securely collected from credit cards. Some bars now use integrated payments and preauthorizations to allow customers to start tabs.
These tabs have the customer’s name attached and require only a single credit card swipe. The customer can then add to their tab without physically giving the bartender their card over and over again.
If you have a restaurant loyalty program, integrated payment systems can allow you to link loyalty programs to customers’ credit cards. This eliminates the need for customers to always bring their loyalty cards.
Marketing to your niche market is an effective strategy. However, with customer information, you can learn about your customer’s behavior and target them using guest rewards to turn them into repeat customers. This is one of the top customer retention strategies.
Frequently Asked Questions About an Integrated Payment System
Have you considered offering different restaurant payment options? By now, you should have learned what are integrated payments and how they benefit the restaurant industry. If you want to know more, read the following commonly asked questions regarding integrated payments.
What Does an Integrated Credit Card Payment Mean?
Integrated credit card payment refers to payment processes that are directly linked to your POS system, loyalty programs, analytics, and reports. With an integrated credit card payment, employees don’t have to manually enter credit card information. Instead, it’s all automatically and securely transmitted through the POS.
What Is a Non-Integrated Payment?
Non-integrated payment refers to payments that are made when card readers and POS systems aren’t connected. This payment method requires an employee to manually enter the order amount into the card terminal. The customer will then have to pay by swiping or entering their card or using a contactless payment method.
What Are the Benefits of Integrated Payments for Restaurants?
The benefits of integrated payments for restaurants include:
- A better customer experience
- Lower risk of manual errors
- Less time spent on the checkout process
- Greater credit card fraud prevention based on higher security
- Streamlined business operations
- Easier collection of important customer data