OpenTable to expand m-payments across US

The restaurant booking giant OpenTable has announced the expansion of its tableside mobile payment progamme following a successful pilot in San Francisco.

Customers can use OpenTable’s system to pay via an app installed on their smartphones or, in some cases, a tablet provided by the restaurant at the table, and which can also display menus, offers and even games for diners to play while they wait. The company is set to introduce the programme at restaurants across New York before extending into 20 further cities by the end of 2014.

OpenTable processes more than 15 million restaurant booking each month, giving it the advantage of an extensive existing market for its mobile phone app. It is thought that this could give it the edge it needs to compete with the more established restaurant-orientated mobile payment systems offered by Paypal, bill-splitting apps created by start-ups like MyCheck and TabbedOut, and in-house options such as those pioneered by Starbucks and MacDonalds.

The company reportedly told TechCrunch that initial trials have seen faster turnaround times for restaurants and “encouraging trends in tip and cheque size.”

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