Pay-at-the-Table Comes to a Restaurant Group With Ingenico Devices

A restaurant franchiser is deploying Ingenico Group point-of-sale terminals as part of a migration to pay-at-the-table payment acceptance at its TGI Friday’s and Zinburger Wine and Burger Bar locations, Ingenico announced Wednesday.

The deal ultimately will see pay-at-the-table service, where the server brings the POS terminal to diners at their tables, at approximately 80 locations owned by Livingston, N.J.-based Briad Group. Each location will use approximately 10 Ingenico iWL252 devices, which accept magstripe, EMV contact and contactless and mobile payments, Mark Bunney, Ingenico North America director of go-to-market strategy, tells Digital Transactions News. The devices contain printers and a secure PIN pad for debit transactions.

Posera Ltd, a London, Ontario-based payments-software developer, provides its SecureTablePay middleware to connect the Ingenico devices to the POS systems in the restaurants. Installation begins this year and continues into 2019, Bunney says. Briad tested the pay-at-the-table service a year ago at a TGI Friday’s location.

Momentum for the pay-at-the table trend appears to be picking up in the U.S. market. In the Briad Group installation, benefits reportedly include convenience for the diner, better security, and potentially increased table turns for the restaurants. The semi-integrated nature of the system also may reduce Briad Group’s PCI-compliance scope because it segregates sensitive payment data from other software.

The pay-at-the-table routine shortens the typical payment operation from 12 to seven steps. It eliminates the need for the diner to wait for the server to return to pick up the card because the diner uses the POS terminal left at the table to make the payment. The server doesn’t have to walk back to a centralized POS system to input the payment, then return to the table with the receipt. This puts the consumer in control of the payment, Bunney says.

Pay-at-the-table also means the credit or debit card doesn’t leave the cardholder’s hand. That may be important to many consumers because data compromises continue to plague the hospitality industry. Ninety-three percent of the data compromised at hospitality POS systems involved payment data, Verizon said earlier this year.

The other potential benefit is the ability to improve table turnaround times. Bunney says tests by Posera found that, on average, table turns increased by 15%, or nine minutes per table.

Briad also said its chargebacks decreased in its test of pay-at-the-table technology. “Lowering our costs was good enough for us to decide to deploy the SecureTablePay and Ingenico Group solution; the positive feedback we got from customers was icing on the cake,” Tom Cornell, Briad director of information systems, said in a press release. “Our servers like using it too, as it allows them to spend more time at their customers’ tables and less time going back and forth to their terminals.”

Pay-at-the-table technology is not new, having been used internationally for decades. Ingenico itself has shipped more than 10 million pay-at-the-table devices, Bunney says. What makes now an opportune time for U.S. restaurant operators to adopt the technology is a combination of EMV, the surge in digital transactions, both in-store and online, and consumer affinity for mobile devices, he says.