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The future of hospitality payments: cashless and mobile

The future of hospitality payments: cashless and mobile

While cash might not be dead quite yet in hospitality, we’ve witnessed payment methods rapidly moving away from cash to credit cards, chip and pin, tap and go, and digital eWallets.

In fact, according to a new report, nine out of ten UK consumers (89%) prefer to pay by card rather than cash most of the time they visit a pub, bar, or restaurant.

With mobile payments and wearable tech slowly outgrowing cards as the most popular payment method, this shift in payment methods is reflected in customer behaviour. One in seven hospitality consumers use a smartwatch or digital wallet at least once a week, and almost a quarter use digital wallets like Apple or Google Pay.

In this article, we will discuss some of the digital payment methods you may wish to consider to future-proof your business, as well as the basics of setting up cashless payments.

Cashless payments: the newest trends


For Millenials, Generation X, and Y, wearables are the preferred payment method in hospitality. For hospitality venues to avoid being viewed as ‘out-of-date’ or ‘out of touch’ as this technology continues to grow in popularity, they need to provide an excellent customer experience at the point of sale.

Paying with RFID (radio frequency identification) is an alternative to wearables. This technology allows your guests to pre-load credit to spend onto an RFID card or wristband.

Walk-out technology

Along with wearables, digital IDs were one of the most popular new technology options, with invisible payments or walk-out technology similar to Amazon Fresh Stores holding a high level of customer interest.

Based on recent reports, the number of 18-34-year-olds who find such innovations appealing is more than twice as high as the percentage of 55+. This implies that hospitality venues must adapt to trends sooner rather than later and cater to a younger crowd.

The walk-out concept faces right into the biggest cause of customer friction: queueing. This walk-out technology is being adopted in the US for airports and large hospitality venues as well as trialled in China, where Bingobox allowed customers to shop, pay via WeChat and walk out. Similarly, in Dubai, Carrefour City has recently launched a similar shopping experience by adopting camera vision technology.

NFC technology

Wearable NFC technology can be anything from bracelets to badges, and it’s widely used for cashless payments.

Hotel guests can use NFC cards for a variety of transactions, including purchasing food and drink, accessing certain facilities, and purchasing items from the gift shop. Everything a customer uses in the hotel is automatically recorded and charged.

Customers gain a seamless experience where amenities and purchases are automatically charged to their accounts, while management and owners gain additional revenue from more efficient operations.

QR codes

Over the course of the pandemic, there has been a consistent increase in the total revenue and average transaction value (AOV) of QR table orders as well as online orders (orders placed beforehand and collected or delivered).

QR code and online ordering customers spend an average of 20% more than cash-paying customers. According to a study by The Drum and YouGov, 75% of UK consumers have said that they plan to use QR Codes moving forward, so this is a trend worth looking into if you want your business to stay ahead.


Paying with an eWallet is fast, simple, and extremely secure. Mostly, they are useful for application commerce. In addition to enabling customers to order ahead or at the table, apps also enable them to pay at the table. 

Businesses can also use apps to communicate with previous customers who have visited their establishments. This is where apps and eWallets have a real advantage over traditional card-based transactions.

Lead the way with cashless payments

TRU POS from Trust Payments prepares hospitality venues for the future of payments with a seamless and fully-supported payments system.

Manage your entire end-to-end payment process from one central platform, integrated directly with your POS.

Find out how your venue can benefit from our scalable and flexible solutions here.