Waiter a bit slow? Now diners can use their iPhone to settle the bill and walk out of the restaurant
Last updated at 3:49 PM on 16th June 2011
- Customers will be able to download a code to pay
- Bill can be settled in 'less than a minute' with a few taps
It allows you to shop online, send emails and even check-in for flights.
Now, for the iPhone's next trick, it will let users pay for their restaurant bills with an app.
The days of trying to catch a waiter's eye to get the bill might soon be a thing of the past, if trials beginning in a pizza restaurant chain take off.
Scroll down for video on how it works
Culinary convenience: Diners can from this week settle their bill at Pizza Express with just a few taps on their iPhone
Instead of a receipt, an electronic confirmation will be sent to the user and, at the same time, a message will be transmitted to the restaurant's till - so management don't think a customer has left without paying
Pizza Express is to pilot the pioneering experiment in its 370 outlets this week, in partnership with online payment company Paypal.
The app will only be available to download for Apple's iPhone and will see diners being given a unique code to be used for the payment process.
Customers will be able to settle their bill with just a few taps on their iPhone, meaning they can leave the restaurant whenever they like.
Instead of a receipt, an electronic confirmation will be sent to the user and, at the same time, a message will be transmitted to the restaurant's till - preventing management from thinking a customer has left without paying.
Pizza Express says the new app gives customers the option of paying their bill in 'less than a minute' at any stage of their meal.
The company will also roll out free in-house wifi to ensure a 'seamless transition' to the new payment system.
Mark Angela, chief executive of Pizza Express, said: 'We knew there was no point just launching an app for the sake of it, so we waited until we had a system that could genuinely improve our customers' experience of eating out at PizzaExpress.'
Cameron McLean, general manager of merchant services at PayPal, added: 'Over a million UK PayPal customers have made a payment on their handset so combining our payments experience with Pizza Express's ground breaking app should be a perfect combination.
Working up an app-etite: Chain restaurant Pizza Express is grabbing a slice of the smartphone action
'The line between the high street and the online world is blurring, and innovative brands like PizzaExpress recognise that payment by mobile makes a great service even better.'
As well as letting customers settle their bill, the app also allows them to find and book a table, view menus, store special offers and receipts - all at the touch of their fingertips.
This development is the latest advancement in smartphone technology.
Earlier this year, it was revealed how consumers will be able to buy a cinema ticket, a sandwich or a cup of coffee without the need for a card or cash - by simply swiping their mobile phone across a till scanner.
The technology, which is being promoted as the beginning of the end for high street shopping with a credit card, is to be rolled out from this summer.
Swipe technology: Similar chip technology to that used in Oyster cards could be introduced to mobile phones
A partnership to bring the system to 40,000 tills has been signed between Barclaycard and Britain's biggest mobile phone network, Everything Everywhere - which includes Orange and T-Mobile.
The two firms claim it will be the the biggest revolution in payments since credit cards were introduced in this country more than 40 years ago.
To start with, there will be a cap of £15 per transaction, but the banking industry expects this to rise, allowing virtually any purchase to be authorised with a swipe of a handset.
It represents a landmark move in the development of the mobile phone into a must-have tool of modern life.
The handsets have already moved way beyond simple calls and texts with the addition of music, videos, email and internet access. In future, it will become a virtual wallet.
The bank and mobile phone networks are in talks with handset manufacturers, including Apple, Blackberry and Nokia, on including the technology in their devices.
The system works by installing a tiny chip and antenna in the phone, which ties the handset to the owner and their credit card or bank account.
A radio signal is sent by the antennae to a till scanner which recognises the handset, authorises the payment and then deducts the money from the owner's account.
The till scanners capable of communicating with the handsets are already being used by thousands of retailers to handle payments through swipe cards available from Barclays and others.
The Oyster card system used on the London Tube and bus network uses similar technology.
However, many consumers may be suspicious of the claimed technological advance. Any system that encourages people to use their credit card more often, even for small value purchases, could generate huge interest charges.
There will be also be suspicions about the security of the technology, given the recent history of bank innovations.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2004167/Pizza-Express-diners-use-iPhones-pay-walk-out.html#ixzz1Pd12ymPK