Collaborative Payments - Introduction to TableTab’s Payment Channels

Our collaborative payment channels - terminal payments, handheld payments, and QR code payments - are built to streamline the payment experience so collaborating merchants can reap the rewards of greater sales at lower costs.

Merchants that collaborate have the redundancy of forcing customers to pay multiple times. One good example is breweries that host food trucks: customers have to get in line to order beer, and then get in another line to order food (and hope the beer isn’t warm by the time they can finally sit down).

With this process comes a lot of waste. This is most obvious for customers, who must commit a significant amount of time up front to make multiple payments. Less noticeable, but arguably more important, is wasted time and lost revenue on the side of merchants. Requiring customers to make multiple payments up front necessitates a greater number of employees needed to staff points-of-sale at multiple merchants, increasing labor costs across the board. 

Even worse - especially when understaffed - is that customers are less likely to make a second purchase. Using the brewery + food truck example, a customer who just received their food is less likely to order another beer if they see a long line at the bar.

The trick is to streamline the payment experience across multiple merchants, so customers are never in a situation where they question whether a transaction is worth it. Merchants should facilitate an environment where purchasing decisions are made with as little effort as possible.

Similarly, streamlining the payment experience is a no brainer for merchants, as it significantly improves profitability. Ease of paying incentivizes customers to spend more, while the benefits of collaboration drive down labor costs and other operational expenses.

Our payment channels are built to streamline the payment experience so merchants can reap the rewards of greater sales at lower costs. Let’s introduce the three all-encompassing payment channels that are included in the TableTab platform:

Terminal Payments

A bartender is starting a tab with items from two different merchants.

Terminal payments are made for merchants who require customers to pay at a preset location, like a counter or a bar. Typically in these operations, customers line up to order and pay. 

TableTab’s collaborative payment solution allows terminals to sell the products of all collaborating merchants, through shared product catalogs. As a result, when someone walks up to a counter to order, that customer can order across multiple merchants as a single payment transaction. 

Even better, terminals can facilitate different payment experiences, such as processing a “one-and-done” transaction (i.e. retail store) or activating a tab (i.e. restaurants). TableTab’s collaborative terminals can also accept payment in any form, whether it’s cash, card, or digital wallets like Apple Pay.

Handheld Payments

Handheld payments are intended for merchants and collaborative operations whose staff need to process orders and payment where the customer is, like a seat or a table. Typically in these operations, customers expect a more service-driven experience, underlining the importance of factors like time and convenience. 

Handheld payments can also be operationally and experientially agnostic, and used instead as a favorite upselling tool for staff or management floating between and engaging with customers. TableTab’s handheld payment channel mobilizes collaborative payments, so that customers can order from multiple merchants whenever approached by staff.

Furthermore, handheld payments can connect to existing tabs. Staff to add to a customer’s tab, across multiple merchants, without having to ask for payment again. It is by far the easiest, fastest, and most service-oriented way to make a sale.

QR Code Payments

QR code payments are built for merchants who allow customers to control their own ordering and payment experience. As the pandemic showed, QR codes carry a lot of potential. For one, customers can avoid busy payment channels, like a long line at the bar. In return, merchants capture more sales from various payment channels, instead of being bottlenecked to just one. 

Additionally, QR codes diversify payment channels to reduce reliance on staff. This comes at an important time where the service industry is experiencing severe staffing shortages, and merchants have to navigate being understaffed. QR codes enable merchants to sell even more than they would if fully staffed, at a fraction of the cost of labor. 

TableTab’s QR codes are extremely intuitive for customers, designed as a very simple and straightforward checkout process that requires no app or account creation. Even better, our QR codes can connect to an order or tab a customer started elsewhere, via a terminal or handheld payment channel. We call this the “hybrid system,” where customers have the flexibility to make payments through all of our different payment channels throughout their experience. We’ll dive into hybrid in a future blog post. 

Collaboration across all payments.

What each payment channel above has in common is that they all take payments across multiple merchants. Whether it is via a terminal, handheld, or QR code, customers have the opportunity to order and pay from multiple merchants at once. As a result, this streamlined payment experience positions merchants to sell more, lower costs, and keep customers coming back.

Want to learn more about our collaborative payment channels, or understand how collaborative payments can work for your operation? Contact us here.

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