In an enclosed campus like a college or hospital, people are eager to simply pay for their food and get back to their business. But streamlining the payment process isn't always easy.
To address this concern, Appetize is working with a software company called CBORD to combine different transaction types, venues and points of sale in a single gateway. CBORD, of Ithaca, N.Y., typically serves higher education and health care facilities.
"What we want is that one trigger or single point of contact for a variety of payments needs," said Kevin Anderson, chief strategy officer at the Playa Vista, Calif.-based Appetize, which powers point of sale systems for foodservice and "scale events" such as festivals and stadiums.
It's Appetize's first reseller agreement—the company had previously focused on direct sales—and the goal is to quickly place a flexible cloud-based point of sale system inside large care campuses in competition with point of sale providers such as Oracle Micros, NCR and Agilisys.
As commerce moves to online and mobile in addition to traditional point of sale, payments are increasingly being seen as a subset of commerce instead of a standalone function, according to Thad Peterson, a senior analyst at Aite Group.
"As payments become less intrusive, consumer and merchant expectations will evolve to an 'any type, any time, anywhere' model and the distinction between payment types will diminish," Peterson said, adding the the payment industry has lived in a world of well-defined roles, or boxes such as acquirer, processor, payment gateway.
Quote"We're moving to a mosh pit model for payments."
"That model doesn’t really work in a fluid commerce environment," Peterson said. "We’re moving to a mosh pit model for payments."
Appetize did not say which health care companies or universities are scheduled to deploy the point of sale system. CBORD has provided card products for dining, security and housing for education, senior living, health care and business campuses for more than 40 years. Appetize was founded in 2011 and has private equity backing from Shamrock Capital. It has had success in the sports industry, scoring contracts to handle payments for the Minnesota Vikings' new stadium, the Rams' return to Los Angeles and other venues in California.
The campus environments targeted in the CBORD collaboration are a hybrid of a closed network like a transit system and a more open network like a shopping mall. These can fall outside of traditional retail payment plays that target either the closed environment or the more open retail use case. That leaves an opportunity to add digital, mobile and contactless payment technology at scale in a market that has juggled closed loop preloaded cards for internal users and open-loop cards for visitors, according to Anderson.
The newly integrated point of sale system will support ID cards, cash, credit, third party "pays" and other digital wallets, said Anderson, as the centralized gateway will place the payment experience alongside other functions of an app or ID card. A technology update due out shortly will support card not present transactions, adding an online ordering and payment element.
The company is pushing a variety of use cases, such as self-service kiosks at cafeterias, order ahead at internal campus cafes, mobile point of sale at sports and other events, and handheld payments. Much like in the quick service industry, Appetize hopes to reduce lines and friction by making the payment less of a distinct action.
"That can be a campus card, or a credit card, or an app, or even a more traditional payment method," Anderson said.