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TabbedOut making it easy on developers

Tabbedout is trying to get developers to integrate its mobile payment method into their apps by making the process as easy as possible, releasing a new software development kit the helps multi-unit restaurant chains, and the third party app developers and agencies they work with, to incorporate mobile payment functionality into their own mobile apps.

TabbedOut is the Austin, Texas-based startup behind a free iPhone and Android app that lets bar and restaurant patrons pay their tabs with their phones. The company has been adding restaurants and bars accepting its payment method, and is now available in more than 1,000 locations including in T.G.I. Friday's restaurants. It also has been partnering with point-of-sale vendors that cater to the hospitality industry such as MICROS to integrate with their equipment.

The TabbedOut mobile payment app is both convenient and safe for users, according to the company. The app lets customers open and pay their tabs whenever they want while also securely storing credit or debit card information on the user's device (meaning not in the cloud or on a provider's servers). The app also lets customers pay without handing their cards over to a wait staff.

Restaurants like accepting payments through TabbedOut's app because it lets staff spend more time serving customers and not dealing with credit cards, the company said.

Now with the SDK, TabbedOut makes it simpler for restaurants to add TabbedOut's mobile payment functionality to their own branded apps. The SDK supports both iOS and Android platforms and includes proprietary Model and Web Services classes for performing secure payment transactions with Tabbedout’s infrastructure, the company said.

TabbedOut said it's even providing professional services to help developers with the integration and implementation process.

"We have been providing mobile payments to bars and restaurants since 2010, so it was a natural progression that we would offer an SDK to give restaurant chains a quick and easy — yet secure and robust — way to integrate mobile payment into their own branded apps," said TabbedOut VP Kevin McKeand in the announcement.

Consumer demand for mobile payments means quick time to market is essential, and TabbedOut's SDK makes that time to market almost immediate, McKeand said.

An added benefit to restaurants, especially given Apple's decision to forego NFC on its newest iPhone, is that TabbedOut doesn't require any new hardware to work.

“We wanted to develop an SDK that makes it easy for third parties that work with restaurant chains to add our core mobile payment features,” said Kelly Harper, TabbedOut's VP of product development. "With our POS integrations, restaurants can quickly incorporate the SDK into their apps and be up and running in no time, without the need for expensive hardware."

For more stories like this, visit the Restaurants research center.

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