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In case you felt that you needed an electronic way to run a tab, pay for it, and calculate the tip, Tabbedout is here to meet your needs. If it were that trivial, it’d be something to overlook but the fact that it’s integrated with hospitality giant MICROS means the company deserves a lot of attention.
Within the app, you can search for restaurants in your area that accept Tabbedout. Once you are seated in a restaurant that accepts the payments platform, you open tab within the app and show this to your server. The server is given a code when you open the tab and you order normally. Tabbedout then securely encrypts your name and credit card number and sends it electronically to the restaurant or bar’s point of sale system. When you are ready to leave the restaurant, you enter your tip, select the card you want to use and hit pay tab. Users can also share their experiences with friends via Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare. And Tabbedout supports split payments and will email you receipt from any tab opened via the app.
The process seems fairly straightforward. Take a look at the embedded video. A feature not highlighted is the Cabbedout facility that makes it easy to call a cab from the app.
Tabbedout’s apps, which are available for the iPhone and Android platforms, partners with restaurants and other establishments to allow users to pay for their bills via the designated app. Unlike other mobile payment platforms, Tabbedout allows users to store credit card information directly on their phone, encrypted and under passphrase protection, instead of on Tabbedout’s host servers. That way, consumers are safe from the threat of lost or stolen credit cards.
That last line gives me a chuckle. Given the “breach fatigue” we’re encountering, consumers are supposedly convinced that service providers can’t protect our card data. So, we’re trusting the smartphone to safely store our encrypted card numbers. The trouble is, we had to enter the card number initially and that’s a big point of failure. Who says keyboard logging is only a malady for PCs?
Amazon’s done a great job securing payment information on its servers. So have other outfits. Tabbedout is making locally entered and stored card numbers, even if they are encrypted, a virtue.
Mercator is covering the mobile payments race closely and presenting our findings in our member reports and Perspectives in PaymentsJournal.
On May 31, 2011 at 1 p.m. Eastern, Mercator will host a special webinar on the ‘US P2P Mobile Payments Market.’ To participate in this 60 minute presentation click here.
Get more news, opinions and information on the mobile payments market by visiting the PaymentsJournal Mobile Strategy Room.