Interest in mobile payment methods among customers and businesses continues to grow. According to National Restaurant Association research, restaurant guests are showing strong interest in utilizing a mobile payment system. A third of all adults and more than half of 18- to 34-year-olds say that they would use mobile or wireless devices to pay restaurant tabs at full-service restaurants if given the option, and more than half of full- and limited-service restaurants planned to increase spending on smartphone apps and other mobile technology in 2013.
Payment is only one part of the mobile commerce picture, which has the potential to drastically change the way restaurants interact with their customers. But even with the growing business and consumer interest in mobile commerce, significant hurdles remain before the payments component of mobile becomes a viable, efficient, and sustainable reality. The U.S. payments system, which is dominated by the Visa and MasterCard brands has not seen significant innovation since the 1970s and is long overdue. Mobile commerce provides a tremendous marketplace opportunity for innovation to be realized as long as legacy payments systems don’t create barriers to new market entrants.
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