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OpenTable will enable diners to pay for meals through its iPhone app

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Waiting for a check at a restaurant may soon become a thing of the past, as online reservation giant OpenTable has begun testing its own mobile payments system, allowing diners to settle their tab directly from their iPhone.

OpenTable


The new system, said to be based on technology developed by recent OpenTable acquisition JustChalo, is expected to launch in San Francisco by the end of 2013 and expand to additional cities later if the program proves successful, according to The New York Times. It's planned to be directly integrated into OpenTable's existing free application for Apple's iPhone.

OpenTable's focus is on simplicity and ease-of-use, as Chief Executive Matthew Roberts explained that no "geeky stuff," such as scanning barcodes, will be required to use the service. And in a nod to restauranteurs who have long complained about the company's high fees, OpenTable has reportedly elected not to add additional charges, instead allowing restaurants to pay only typical credit card processing rates.

Paying with a smartphone is not a new idea, with companies like Square and Google offering digital wallet services for years, but adoption among restaurants has been slow. OpenTable's entry into the market could give the concept a significant boost, as the company already provides reservation and table management services to more than 28,000 restaurants throughout the world.OpenTable's payment system will debut in San Francisco this year, with expansion planned to other cities if the program is successful.

There is no word on how the new system would fare alongside Apple's existing In-App Purchase program. Apple generally refuses to allow competitive payment offerings in its App Store, famously rebuffing Amazon's attempt to allow users to purchase books directly via Amazon's Kindle app.

However, Apple and OpenTable have a history of close collaboration, as OpenTable's services are behind the restaurant reservation ability built in to Siri.

OpenTable's move could be seen as a defensive tactic as competition in the online reservations space heats up. Just this month, Groupon launched Reserve, a competing restaurant reservation service packaged with discount offers, in 600 restaurants found in the company's top 10 markets: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Washington D.C.

OpenTable took one competitor out of the picture this week by acquiring Urbanspoon's Rezbook system, which launched in 2010 in an effort to allow restaurants a cheaper way to set up an online reservation system. The deal will also see OpenTable powering the IAC/InterActiveCorp company's reservation service.
post #2 of 12
nice, some of these places it takes 30 minutes of waiting for the check
post #3 of 12
Why do you use the aliases, is it to remind you to maintain a certain tone?

It's a bit of a shame to see Apple working with these people though. It feels like the kind of market Steve Jobs would have looked at and said, "It's a great idea, and obviously the future, but all the existing solutions are sh*t," (as was his want), and then add something to the iPhone that would blow them all away and have *everyone* paying their restaurant bill through iTunes within 18 months. But the current Apple management is happy to just partner 1frown.gif
post #4 of 12

Pretty soon we're going to eliminate every form of human communication and rely 100% on our damn cell phones. I'm not a fan of society turning into a bunch of robots. 

post #5 of 12
I wonder if apple plans to buy out OpenTable and integrate it fully to iOS and OSX
post #6 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

Why do you use the aliases, is it to remind you to maintain a certain tone?

It's a bit of a shame to see Apple working with these people though. It feels like the kind of market Steve Jobs would have looked at and said, "It's a great idea, and obviously the future, but all the existing solutions are sh*t," (as was his want), and then add something to the iPhone that would blow them all away and have *everyone* paying their restaurant bill through iTunes within 18 months. But the current Apple management is happy to just partner 1frown.gif

Yup, Jobs never partnered with anyone *cough* Google *cough*.
post #7 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by jungmark View Post


Yup, Jobs never partnered with anyone *cough* Google *cough*.

Well, there's partnering with someone good and partnering with someone sh*t. However much you might despise Google they are good at what they do, but these restaurant booking services are asking to be pwned by "some" company with an established payment infrastructure and an instinct for UX.

post #8 of 12

I was thinking this might compete with Square, but they don't have much in the way of restaurant tableside payments either. 

 

ascii View Post
...have *everyone* paying their restaurant bill through iTunes within 18 months.

 Maybe something that will be added to Passbook?

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post #9 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac-Daddy View Post

Pretty soon we're going to eliminate every form of human communication and rely 100% on our damn cell phones. I'm not a fan of society turning into a bunch of robots. 


Hopefully "We'll make great pets....."

(Moore's law, "the singularity," etc., etc., yada yada)

An iPhone, a Leatherman and thou...  ...life is complete.

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An iPhone, a Leatherman and thou...  ...life is complete.

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post #10 of 12

I wonder how the system will work.  Unless the restaurant is all computerized from ordering to cashier.  otherwise, we still need to wait for the waiter/waitress to enter data?  And can I use my 2% cash reward credit card?

post #11 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by al_bundy View Post

nice, some of these places it takes 30 minutes of waiting for the check

I would never wait that long.  I would get up and leave.  That way, I get the attention of someone so that I can pay my bill.

post #12 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

Why do you use the aliases, is it to remind you to maintain a certain tone?

It's a bit of a shame to see Apple working with these people though. It feels like the kind of market Steve Jobs would have looked at and said, "It's a great idea, and obviously the future, but all the existing solutions are sh*t," (as was his want), and then add something to the iPhone that would blow them all away and have *everyone* paying their restaurant bill through iTunes within 18 months. But the current Apple management is happy to just partner 1frown.gif

Of course. If Apple partners with someone, they're evil. If they don't partner with someone, they're evil.

Seems to me that nothing they could ever do would make some people happy.
"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
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"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
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