Mobile contactless payments are on the rise across the country. The 2014 National Restaurant Association Technology Innovations Consumer Study pointed out that 35% of QSR and 20% of Fast Casual restaurants currently offer mobile payments. This new, fast-growing transaction method has already been proven in studies to improve loyalty and frequency among QSR and Fast Casual’s incredibly important young and affluent demographic.

Mobile Contactless PaymentsIt’s clearly an exciting time in the industry, since it’s been a long time since restaurant POS systems have seen such a dramatic shift in consumer behavior. Here are the four biggest benefits of mobile contactless payments for restaurant operators.

1. Ride the Apple Pay tailwind. First and foremost, by accepting contactless payments, your business benefits from the enthusiastic adoption rates of Apple Pay and Google Wallet. You can expect the continued growth of contactless payment to track with the enthusiastic adoption of Apple Pay. But more than offering a more convenient form of payment, you can benefit from the significant “lift” associated with contactless payments. One study has shown that people making contactless payments spend as much as 30% more in a year, a significant portion of that going to the QSR and Fast Casual restaurants. In short, people spend more when they can use contactless payment to make purchases. Imagine what’s going to happen when the Apple Watch comes out on April 24!

2. New apps that drive business. When American Express, for example, fielded their iPhone app to support Apple Pay, they also provided additional increased personal protection against fraud and unauthorized transactions by notifying the consumer of all account transactions (not just the contactless ones). In addition to financial apps to track purchases, you will be seeing apps to engage in loyalty programs and apps to view promotions via text or social media accessed from mobile devices.

3. Enhanced security. In addition, both Apple Pay and Google Wallet take advantage of tokenization, a technology already used by chip-and-PIN EMV (Europay-Mastercard-Visa) credit cards which are starting to be issued widely now in the United States. Instead of sending and storing the consumer’s actual credit card information, the system generates a unique security code to encrypt the transaction. This security measure renders useless any data exposed during a security breach. A great way to get Contactless is to replace your old, insecure magnetic stripe readers with new terminals that provide Contactless along with EMV capabilities, so all of your customers will benefit from a more secure form of payment. Consumer awareness is growing, and is becoming a real differentiator when they make purchasing decisions .

4. Easier PCI Compliance. Another major benefit of contactless payments is that because the credit card information is not stored in the restaurant POS your POS becomes a “Payment Unaware” solution. Having a “Payment Unaware” POS solution is likely to dramatically reduce the PCI Compliance requirements you have to address, and may reduce your overall cost of compliance.