Apple Pay and Android Pay now at Restaurant Tables

Diners at some restaurants will be able to use Apple Pay, Android Pay, Samsung Pay and Chase Pay to cover the cost of their meals.

A company called E La Carte is rolling out a device called the Presto Prime EMV that will allow customers to pay with either NFC (Near Field Communications) or Quick Read (QR) code driven digital wallet apps. An E La Carte press release indicates the new device is the latest advance in pay at table technology.

The idea is to let phone users pay without having to walk over the cash register. Luddites that want to stick with plastic can swipe their credit or debit cards or use an EMV chip. Most intriguingly the Presto Prime has a store and forward memory that will allow save customers data even if the restaurant’s power or internet service goes out.

E La Carte’s readers are currently used at 1,800 restaurants in the United States including two popular chains; Applebee’s and Outback Steakhouse. This is a pretty smart move because recent data indicates Americans now spend more money at restaurants than grocery stores.

Will it Expand Payment Apps’ Reach?

Since it can take either NFC or QR code, Presto Prime can support all the popular phone payment apps. Apps like Walmart Pay and Chase Pay use QR code; that relies on an optical scan of a code to authorize a transaction. Those like Apple Pay and Android Pay use a wireless signal to communicate directly with a cash register.

Devices like Presto Prime should speed up the use and adoption of payment apps. One major problem Apple Pay and Android Pay from Alphabet (NASDAQ: GOOG) face is that many phone users cannot places to use them. Many major retail and restaurant brands including Kroger, Burger King and Safeway are refusing to take payment apps.

Others like Walmart only take certain apps. Walmart only accepts QR code payments; which means you cannot use Apple Pay or Android Pay at America’s most popular retailer.

The existence of Presto Prime shows us that the battle between QR Code and NFC is far from over. It looks as if that debate is likely to continue for the foreseeable future.

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