Industry News | January 29, 2013

Find Out Why Having a Mobile App in 2013 is 'Critical'

As smartphone use rapidly increases, quick-serve operators are looking for ways to stay up to date and adapt to new technologies and consumer trends. Many are doing so by launching a mobile payment application for their restaurant.

“I believe that having a mobile app in 2013 is critical,” says Michael Hagan, chief operating officer of LevelUp, a mobile platform provider. “Consumers are looking for convenience, speed, and they’re looking for things that will save them money. And having a mobile app is a great way to deliver on all three of those things.”

Though Hagan says he believes that mobile payment systems are the next step for quick serves, he warns that brands should be leery of launching an app just for the sake of it.

“I think what’s critical about having a mobile app is that it should always be evaluated on what it’s doing to the bottom line,” he says. “So if it’s not very feasibly reducing costs, increasing revenue, or delivering incredible insight into the customers, then I would reevaluate what you want out of an app.”

LevelUp’s mobile payment platform allows merchants to accept mobile payments with a 0 percent processing fee and with the added benefit of customization. Through LevelUp’s “White Label” option, businesses can have a personalized app created for them, allowing for brand recognition, Hagan says.

He says LevelUp is the most secure method of payment because there is no credit card information available on their servers or device.

“Many people in the mobile payment space are storing information on an NIC chip or locally on someone’s phone, and that is just a huge, huge liability,” Hagan says. “We believe the best measure of security you could have would be to not have anything worth stealing.”

LevelUp allows merchants to use campaigns to attract new customers and keep existing ones, and it provides merchants insight into who their customers are and how often they are using the app. Hagan says having this kind of information readily available for merchants is critical in the app space.

To learn more from LevelUp about launching a mobile app, tune in to a complimentary webinar on January 31 at 2 p.m. EST by clicking here.

By Laurel Nakkas

News and information presented in this release has not been corroborated by QSR, Food News Media, or Journalistic, Inc.


While I understand the need to move towards this type of application, the word critical seems a bit premature. How often do you see someone using the Starbucks app to pay? Exactly. And coffee is a daily staple of some many people's daily routine. QSR's not as much.And of course someone whose company provides mobile payment would want you to believe this is critical. Is there any data showing consumers regard this as critical? Is there anything else to support this claim? What is the cost to the franchisee to upgrade software/hardware to take mobile payments? Why do we not see this type of payments at the gas pumps? I agree we will all end up there but I think it is a few more years out.

"What's more, 20 percent of card transactions at Starbucks locations were conducted using the mobile app, Shultz said. "Over 7 million customers now use one of our mobile payment apps, translating into 2.1 million mobile payment transactions each week, with hundreds of thousands of additional Starbucks mobile app downloads each week."It wasn't just about payments either. The integration of the Starbucks loyalty card with the payment app meant that the company added 1.4 million members in Q1 of 2013. That's an increase of 86 percent over last year's 778,000 new members for the same quarter, Schultz said."

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