Ordering ahead with your mobile phone isn’t just for pizza anymore.
Mobile ordering is often associated with pizza delivery and big fast casual chains. But increasingly, platforms are enabling smaller, local businesses to get in the game.
London-based payment facilitator Paysafe is rolling out a new mobile ordering app called GOLO. The app will enable customers to order not only from local restaurants, but other businesses as well. They can then either pick up their order or have it delivered.
“With GOLO, we’re creating an opportunity for local retailers – the neighbourhood’s florist, bagel shop or artisan store – to really benefit from digital ordering. Users can buy local with all the convenience of shopping – and paying – on their mobile. GOLO gives you your neighbourhood at your fingertips,” said Philippe Marois, the chief operating officer in charge of the GOLO business for Paysafe, in a press release.
The GOLO app is already live with more than 100 merchants in Montreal. The company said that it plans to expand to additional locations in Canada as well as the U.K., the U.S. and Europe.
Square’s Caviar business is a food-ordering platform that serves 3,000 restaurants across the U.S. Previously, users of the Caviar app or web site ordered food to be delivered.
On Wednesday, Caviar launched its new pickup service. Now customers can skip the line and grab food directly at participating restaurants and food vendors as well.
“We’ve been using Caviar pickup in beta for the last several weeks and it’s definitely revealed an opportunity for sizable new volume in terms of mobile orders,” Evan Kidera, president of Señor Sisig, a popular food truck in the Bay Area said in a Caviar press release.
Mastercard has a broader audience in mind for its own mobile ordering and payment platform, Qkr! It named schools, gas stations, parking, sports arenas, and unattended retail as possible markets.
The company said this week that it plans to expand Qkr! into six new regions this year: Brazil, Canada, Ireland, Singapore, South Africa and the United States. It is already live in Australia, Colombia, Mexico and the United Kingdom.
Mastercard also said it was adding a feature called Open Tab to the Qkr! platform. It enables customers at a bar to open a tab without leaving a payment card or personal identification at the bar. They are then able to settle their tab whenever they are ready, without waiting for a server.
The companies working on these features cite convenience for customers and a boost in sales for their merchant clients as the primary drivers for their development.
If Starbucks is any indication, there is demand for the ability to order and pay ahead of time. The company reported on a quarterly earnings call in January that its own mobile ordering capability was almost too successful, resulting in congestion in the pickup line and a need to adjust in-store procedures to accommodate the volume.