Dash Software LLC, a Brooklyn, N.Y.-based mobile payment provider that targets restaurants and bars, has raised $1.2 million in investment to launch its updated iPhone app in Manhattan.
The Pay with Dash app allows consumers to check-in to a restaurant or bar, view their check as orders are placed and pay their tab from an iPhone without waiting for the server.
"You don't have to hand your credit card over and wait which, especially at a busy bar, is cumbersome for the bartender as well," says Jeff McGregor, co-founder of Dash. "The payment credentials are on file so even if a person leaves their bill, the venue hasn't lost any tabs."
Dash launched in November, and has since redesigned its app for iOS 7. The company is focused on consumer adoption and equipping "trendy restaurants and sport bars" in the downtown area of Manhattan with its technology, McGregor says. About 20 restaurants are participating in the Dash launch.
Several other companies, including TabbedOut and MyCheck, offer similar apps for sit down eateries and venues. MyCheck, which allows users to link their PayPal accounts, has recently expanded into the theatre district of New York. In MyCheck's case, consumers begin the transaction by giving the server a number to enter on the point of sale terminal.
McGregor says Dash instead uses Bluetooth technology to automatically check-in customers. Dash provides merchants with an iPod that sits by the register. When Dash diners walk in, they are immediately checked-in and the bartender or server can open a tab, identifying the customers by a photo sent by the app.
"Point of sale systems are archaic and the configurations are different depending on the provider we're trying to circumvent all that through our system," says McGregor.
Users of Pay with Dash can add funds with a credit or debit card or through Venmo Touch.
Both Dash and the merchants can send rewards and offers to customers through the app.
"Payments are moving to mobile but we want to provide value outside the payment piece," McGregor says. "Restaurants and bars are a social experience and people want to focus on dining with friends instead of the payment, which can be really cumbersome."
Dash merchants pay a monthly fee based on use. If no consumers use the app in a given month, the merchant pays nothing.