Mastercard adds bar tab feature to Qkr! mobile payments app

Qkr! payments app
IT’S YOUR ROUND: Users of Mastercard’s Qkr! app can now set up their own virtual bar tab

Mastercard has unveiled a new feature for its Qkr! mobile payments solution that will allow customers in a bar or restaurant to open a tab and pay their bill when they want, without leaving a payment card or identity document with the bartender or waiting to pay at the bar.

“Research shows that diners often have to wait as long as 12 minutes to flag a server, receive the bill and make a payment,” Mastercard says. “Forgetting and leaving a payment card behind is also a common phenomenon.

“With ‘Open Tab’, customers are able to see their order on their phone and pay via their mobile device when they are ready. Bills can be easily split between multiple customers who can either select and pay for individual items or choose to pay for one or more rounds.”

The ‘Open Tab’ feature on Qkr! — the app first tested in Australia in 2012 that lets customers use their mobile device and Masterpass to pay their bill directly from the table — is due to be available to restaurants in the summer of 2017, Mastercard said at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

Further expansion

Mastercard also revealed it will expand the Qkr! platform to Brazil, Canada, Ireland, Singapore, South Africa and the US later this year. Qkr! is already live in Australia, Colombia, Mexico and the UK, where diners at the likes of restaurant chain Wagamama have been using the service since 2015.

“Today, we’re looking for convenience in all parts of our lives,” says Betty DeVita from Mastercard.

“Though grab-and-go retail is becoming increasingly popular with those on the move, consumers maintain high customer service expectations. Qkr! with Masterpass provides them with a frictionless retail experience — bringing together self-service, fast, seamless payments and card safety and security in new and unique ways.”

Convenient experiences

Mastercard has announced it is also partnering with business software firm Oracle, to integrate Qkr! in Oracle POS software and systems in retail and hospitality.

“With close to 80% of consumers using technology at some point along their shopping journey, Mastercard is committed to unlocking omni-channel commerce for every device and delivering convenient experiences to users at-home, in-stores and on-the-go,” says Chris Fendley at Mastercard.

“Building on the success of our joint initiatives with Oracle in the UK, we can help retailers and hospitality providers connect with their customers in more engaging ways while enabling them to grow their businesses with scale, speed and security.”

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