Mastercard’s Masterpass tackles small business painpoints

by Andrew Seale   |   March 05, 2018   |   Share this:  

After a restaurant client identified pain points surrounding the time it took for clients to get and pay their bill, Mastercard developed Qkr, the pay-at-table app to streamline the process and help small businesses do what they do best without the hang up.

Glowing reviews of Toronto’s diverse food culture aren’t making the line-ups to the city’s eclectic array of intimate culinary explorations any shorter but Mastercard is banking on technology to help streamline the experience for consumers and merchants alike.

“The time it takes for someone to be able to get their bill and pay (is) a common pain point for restaurants across the board,” says Jose Gutierrez, Director of Product Development and Innovation at Mastercard. According to one of the payment innovation company’s partner merchants, the average time patrons spent at their restaurant location was 36 minutes and the time it took to pay the bill was 12 minutes.

Part of that time was spent trying to catch the servers attention, explains Gutierrez, and then getting the terminal to the table so the client could cash out. “When you go to a restaurant you want to have the best customer experience possible, you want to have the best food and drink possible,” he says. “The payment piece was a headache.”

Especially for smaller restaurants or businesses with limited staff, tying up tables due to inefficiencies and losing impatient customers comes with a cost.

“It’s all about how quickly you can turn over the table, especially for smaller but high volume restaurants,” says Gutierrez. “Being able to have more customers in and out quickly is extremely important to their business… at the same time you don't want to sacrifice the customer experience.”

The solution was Qkr, a pay-at-table app which is powered by Mastercard’s digital wallet Masterpass. Using Qkr, consumers can open a tab, see an itemized receipt, pay their bill and even split it with friends. Some merchants even have pay terminals to streamline the process.

MasterCard Qkr 2

Businesses like Air Canada, Costco, Pizza Pizza, Joe Fresh and Roots have already bought into Masterpass. But Gutierrez says, in a lot of ways, a tool like Qkr allows smaller businesses to level the playing field and compete with the big-box brands.

“We’re already seeing a lot of retailers and merchants utilizing mobile payments as a way to improve their business, to increase spend, to increase customer satisfaction,” he says. “They’re not exclusive to large enterprises.”

And Qkr opens merchants to a new channel for offers, discounts and rewards, introducing digital loyalty into the equation. Not to mention the analytics platform that comes with Qkr.

“Merchants can go into an analytics dashboard and be able to understand how their business is doing in real-time on any given day, at any given time,” he says. It all plays into the omni-channel shopping experience, a blurred environment of digital and traditional where main street businesses can augment their brick and mortar with tech tools to compete online as well. “The world of physical brick and mortar retail and online e-commerce retail is starting to converge… (it’s) just commerce.”

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