Interview with officials from PayPal and Viableware about 'RAIL'

On October 1st, 2013 PayPal and Viableware teamed up to streamline digital payments at Full-Service Restaurants like Dickie Brennan's Tableau Restaurant. Team Lets Talk Payments interviewed Kathy Chui, PayPal Spokesperson and Joe Snells, CEO Viableware to discuss about the new developments and the payments industry.

Questions to Kathy Chui, PayPal Spokesperson

Q: Online payments have been around. Proximity payments (e.g., at restaurants) have just started to show up. What is the one biggest Development that has happened to propel this growth? K: Consumers today expect a seamless, omni-channel experience, spanning online, in-store and mobile. Also smartphones have become an essential part of most people’s lives. Consumers don’t differentiate commerce experiences into online, mobile and in-store. For them, it’s just shopping. Because of this, we see the mobile payments trends continuing to grow over the next several years. K: Paypal is doing so many things in payments - beacons, facial recognition, card readers, apps etc. How does a collaboration like this fit into the bigger scheme of things.At PayPal we’re always looking for ways to make paying easier and more seamless for consumers and merchants. Technology continues to drive customers to shop in new ways, blending online, mobile and in-store experiences. This increased flexibility has put the consumer in control and at PayPal we are able to tailor solutions to fit these growing expectations. Working with Viableware is just one example of this, where we are able to offer consumers added security, convenience and flexibility.

Q: Which Rail feature impressed you the most before you decided to partner? K: For us it wasn’t one feature that stood out. It’s the overall added convenience that comes with the RAIL platform. Our goal is to make the shopping and paying experience more seamless for consumers and merchants. By integrating with Viableware's RAIL system, we can bring added convenience to full service restaurants across the U.S., and provide these restaurants with new payment options. In turn, their customers get increased choice and flexibility. Q: Any the other stuff you are doing for payments in restaurants? K: In September, we launched a new PayPal app available on iPhone and Android phones, allowing consumers to check in to pay, order ahead, pay your restaurant bill and redeem offers. The app has a tab called Shop, which you can use to find nearby shops or restaurants that accept PayPal payments. Thousands of restaurants, cafes, clothing stores and other retail locations in the U.S., UK, Australia, Japan, Hong Kong and Canada are accepting PayPal in-stores.

Through our relationships with Jamba Juice and Eat24, PayPal app users will be able to order ahead at thousands of restaurants nationwide by the end of the year. Through our partnership with NCR, we’re also piloting other Pay at the Table experiences where consumers can view their restaurant bill, order additional food and drinks and pay directly through their PayPal app. We're piloting this experience with restaurants such as City Winery in New York and 60+ other locations in the U.S.

Q: What's your advice to payment starts ups in general and proximity payments companies in particular e.g., restaurant space

K: For the dinning industry, the importance of customer service is amplified. We can also all agree that eating out is fun, but paying is not. Nobody likes to stand in line and no one likes waiting for their check at the restaurant. At PayPal, we use technology to help solve these types of friction points that exists for consumers every day.

It comes down to using technology to make paying easier, more convenient and built around great experiences. As a result, customers feel more in touch with their businesses, and business owners attract and engage new customers.

Questions fielded by Joe Snells, CEO Viableware

Q. Why did you chose Tableau restaurant ?

J:The decision to implement the RAIL at Tableau was made by Dickie Brennan. Tableau, which opened in late April, is Brennan & Co's newest restaurant - and the company has made a significant investment in giving the antique building a facelift. With the launch of the new restaurant and the implementation of new building systems, Tableau was the logical choice to be the first to introduce the RAIL.

Q. Would PayPal be just a payment option apart from credit card/debit cards or we are talking about new features brought in by PayPal

J: PayPal is a payment option that will be available on the RAIL apart from credit cards and debit cards. No new features are yet to be brought in by PayPal at this time.