Mobile apps from Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts may prove useful for on-the-go coffee guzzlers, but their approach may not translate well to other retail environments. A few companies are taking a different approach to modernizing payments for sit-down restaurants and other merchants.

“Mobile payments is so 2012,” says Alex Broeker, president of ATX Innovation, which provides the Tabbedout app. “2013 is about how the device allows you to communicate with your customer.”

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