As we continue to see, point of sale companies are integrating mobile purchasing apps into existing POS software. But using a mobile app in most restaurants and retail establishments still means that you have to wait in line to place your order and have that order recognized by the point of sale system. And that time - no matter how short - is time some rushed customers and vendors don't have to give.
That's where mobile app developers are looking for ways to fill the void, creating the equivalent of the Amazon One-Click checkout. Since the best part of paying with a mobile purchasing app is the simplicity and the speed of the transaction, with a new mobile app for both Android and iOS, there's no line, and your order's ready before you know it.
PayDragon (download the Android app here, or iOS here) helps you jump the line, giving you a faster experience while helping restaurant employees serve more customers, especially during crowded meal windows.
And merchants don't need specialized software or hardware to fill customer orders. With just e-mail access and a way to view the web-based PayDragon dashboard, even the lightest-traveling vendors can use the mobile purchasing app.
Debuting this year after several months of testing, including the South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive Festival in Austin, Texas, the app is currently available for customers in Austin, Los Angeles, and New York, with additional markets in the works.
Embraced by mobile food trucks and other like-minded merchants, the free mobile purchasing app promises to let food providers concentrate on what they do best - cooking and serving great meals.
"For a food truck like us, it helps run things very smoothly when the lines are long and the staff is slammed by orders," said Eric Silverstein, owner of The Peached Tortilla and Yume Burger food trucks, two of the SXSW test merchants.
"We were able to monitor orders throughout the internal dashboard, which made getting the food to the customers fast and easy. Most importantly, PayDragon allows us to serve more orders in less time and make the most of those really important busy periods when people don't want to wait in line and may go elsewhere."
Here's what you need to know about the mobile app.
How PayDragon Works For Customers
Signing up for an account is as simple as entering your name and e-mail address and choosing a password. You can also sign in using your Facebook account.
Then you'll be prompted to enter a credit card that will be used for payments. If you've gotten ahead of yourself and are trying to check-out without first linking a payment card, the app will redirect you to the payment information tab. Once you enter the information, your order will be completed.
Tap the app to open and you'll see the "Discover" screen which shows PayDragon-enabled merchants in your local area. Tap "Offers" and you'll see the current specials from these businesses.
There's also a "Scan" tab where you can read a QR code from a merchant. Select a menu item and with just one click, your order goes through. You'll be notified when your order is ready to go.
The mobile purchasing app also incorporates a game layer, with purchases earning points toward incentives from participating merchants. You can brag about your meal on Facebook, and your receipts appear on a tab in the app, allowing you to keep track of spending.
How PayDragon Works For Merchants
The merchant side is just as simple, giving high-volume vendors a tool to manage customer and order flow. To ensure that degree of simplicity, not every menu item is included on the mobile purchasing app.
PayDragon generates the QR codes for each participating merchant, helping the vendor feature their most popular and easy to make dishes. Limiting the number of choices for customers using this service helps ensure smoother internal operations during the busiest periods. Vendors view a simple and uncluttered interface showing pending orders.
Orders move from the app to the merchant via e-mail, then are tracked to fulfillment on the dashboard.
Vendors are charged a small fee for each processed order. Without divulging the amount, a company spokesperson says the amount is comparable to what you'd pay to use Square or another credit card processor. There are no minimum required number of transactions or monthly fees.
As you might expect, PayDragon coordinates the payment processing via third party providers, routing authorization requests to banks.
It's easy to get started. Businesses need just notify PayDragon of their interest, while also providing images of menu items along with pricing.
While mobile purchasing apps may not be the best solution for every business, it's clear that PayDragon has targeted the perfect niche for their current technology.
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