There’s a new app called Clipp that will allow users to pay for a bar or restaurant tab with their smartphone instead of leaving a credit card behind the counter.
Clipp, available for iPhone, Android and BlackBerry and coming soon for Windows 8, provides a fast, easy and secure way for customers to track and pay for their bar tab or restaurant bill.
Venues that are signed up to the service will show up on the app when users try to check in using the Clipp app.
We gave Clipp a trial run at the White Horse bar/restaurant in Surry Hills in Sydney.
Once we registered – we needed to create an account, upload a photograph of ourselves for identification purposes and also include a credit card.
The credit card information is handled secured by PayPal so there’s no risk your details will fall in the wrong hands.
This is something that couldn’t be guaranteed when you were leaving your actual credit card behind the bar with a traditional tab.
After we checked in we were given a customer number that also appears on the venue’s POS (point of sale) system.
Then it’s just a matter of ordering your drinks and food and showing the tab number you’re assigned which is displayed on the Clipp app.
Users can easily see their current tab including all the items, individual prices and the current total.
It’s also possible for users to set limits on their spend using a simple slide tool with the app. There’s a similar tool you can use to work out the tip as well.
But one of the handiest features of Clipp is revealed when it’s time to go.
With a normal tab you have to go back to the bar, settle the account and get your credit card back.
In a crowded bar that can take quite a while especially if it’s a busy night.
But with Clipp simply hit the Close Tab button and leave. The venue will immediately close your tab and email you a receipt before your credit card is charged.
Clipp co-founder Greg Taylor has already had experience in using the smartphone as a payment option when he created the eCoffeeCard app.
The eCoffeeCard app allows users to keep track of their café loyalty cards and redeem their free coffee with their smartphone.
Taylor got the idea for Clipp (which is short for money clip) when he saw one of his eCoffeeCard posters in a café had been defaced.
“I was on the Sunshine Coast and walked into a café and there was a little poster that showed the eCoffeeCard and the guy had put a big cross through it and wrote eKebab card. I thought there’s something in this,” he said.
From there Taylor spoke with publicans and restaurateurs who welcomed the ability for customers to pay for their food and drinks with their smartphones.
“Clipp can make the venue more money – if people open a tab they spend more money,” Taylor said
“What it does for the staff is it makes the process quicker. In a typical transaction the payment process takes up 25 per cent of the time at the bar.
“Take that out and they can sell more drinks and more food and make more money.
“But the coolest bit is that when you want to go – you see the bar is full – you hit close tab on the app and you’re done.”
Clipp is being already being adopted by venues around Australia with plans to expand overseas as well.
“Potential capacity in Australia is up to 7000 venues. POS companies are now coming to us and wanting to integrate,” Taylor says.