Payments Blog • 6 MIN READ

Delivering a Great Payments Experience [podcast]

Ever dined out and wanted to split the check, only to be told 'no split bills'? The service may have been great, the food exceptional and yet with this lack of flexibility when it comes to settling the bill, you are left with a bad taste in your mouth. In this podcast we discuss the ability for payments processors to be able to delight the customer while making life easier for all concerned, including the restaurateur or retailer.

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Scott: When it comes to payment options, there are many available to customers. In fact, flexibility is demanded. How can payment providers keep up? Here to talk about it is John Dunne, Vice President of Products with Integrated Research. Flexibility is the key, isn't it, John?

John: You know, the customer is always right, and the customer wants to spend money with you. And they want to spend it in a way that's convenient to them. Not in a way that's necessarily convenient for a business or convenient for accountants, or convenient for banks.

My favorite example of this is splitting the check. I love it when you go to a restaurant and some restaurants might have a sign out the front that says 'no split bills'. And you go in there, and you're like, okay, they're only going to give us one check. So, someone puts their card down and pays for dinner, and then everybody else has their own bank that they work with and they've got to transfer money or put cash on the table. Someone who's just paid for dinner is then suddenly waiting up to three days for his friends to provide them reimbursement of the meal.

You get into different situations. You know, some restaurants are fantastic. They track what you do by seat and they say, sir, here is your check and here is your check. And that's great, and they all then go off and you're trying to understand, okay, we shared a garlic bread. We've all got individual checks, but who's paying for the garlic bread?

Sometimes these situations get even more complex, for example, when it's Bob's birthday. And, we're all going to split the check equally, but there was eight of us, but we need it split seven ways because we're all going to pay for Bob. And what you end up with is restaurants catering for a vast array of payment scenarios. And what they end up with is a sequence of payments. When what you really want is a way that you can have a transaction that says to the restaurateur, yes you got paid, and by the way, it was one transaction that was debited across these cards. And whether it was split by a percentage or it was split by agreed amounts, it doesn't matter. And it's a single atomic transaction that, yes I got paid, and everybody knows how much they contributed. I think, that's how people will want to spend their money, is to, they can agree as friends around a dining room table on how it's going to be taken care of. And that a restaurateur can know, at the end of the day they can match it up. Yep, this person paid me and it's all very simple.

I think this is about what do people want next in payments. People talk today about deploying realtime settlement, and that's a big part of it. But, being able to do this, I think there's definitely a movement forward towards multiparty transactions. And, there's a lot of situations where that makes good sense. But, splitting the check is just a very simple scenario here. There are a lot more important situations where that comes into play. One of my favorite examples there is around a multiparty transaction that involved me buying a motor vehicle. And, the people involved in the transaction is myself, the car dealership, and the DMV. In that transaction, I pay money to the car dealer, the car dealer assigns ownership of the vehicle to the DMV to me in a single transaction that happens.

Scott: So, a business owner may think, okay, this sounds good, but you can't do it with current technology. Is that true?

John: So, the technology is not there yet to support this. And, there are some standards being evolved that will, but it's the use cases that it's going to enable that's going to drive the technology, and that's what I think is exciting. You know, I just think at the heart of the matter is as a consumer, I want to spend my money in a way that's convenient for me. And, sometimes, that's just as simple as me giving you money. But sometimes it's more complicated than that. And as soon as you're out with a bunch of friends, no one wants to be in a situation where they're the one person who doesn't have cash for the table, or you know, they're the one person who doesn't want to potentially disclose their financial situation in too much detail to their friends, and that they don't have the cash on them, they have to use their card, but someone else is going to pick it up and they don't have the cash to reimburse them immediately. It can cause them social embarrassment if nothing else. The goal here is just to enable people not only to buy your products in the way they want to, but to pay for them as well.

Scott: Take control of your payment environment. Learn more about Prognosis at

Topics: Payments

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