Chaos looming for Australia’s hospitality industry

| July 24, 2014

Chaos may be looming for Australia’s 37,700 restaurants, cafes and pubs, when signatures are officially abolished on all credit and debit card payments from 1 August 2014.

According to new research by Tyro Payments, PIN usage regarding transactions that offer a choice between PIN and signature increased from 59 per cent in November 2013 to 78 per cent in June 2014 for 10,000 small-to-medium businesses, including many restaurants, cafes and pubs.

Specifically, eating places and restaurants are laggards with 66 per cent PIN usage. That reflects the lack lustre acceptance of mobile terminals and the waiter staff’s fear for their tips.

Tyro Payments co-founder Andrew Rothwell said, “While PIN usage has increased in the past six months, the fact is on 1 August 10 per cent of customers will have to use their PIN for the first time. Imagine cardholders searching in panic for cash, when they can no longer sign. The simple act of paying for a meal could ruin the entire dining experience,” Mr Rothwell said.

Tipping is also likely to be a casualty with tips expected to fall by double digits, similar to the UK experience. The solution to this problem however is available today.

“A simple, fast and secure payment process integrates the restaurant management software and the payment terminal allowing patrons to use the EFTPOS terminal at the table at their own pace to split the bill, tip and pay using their PIN2. It also make restaurateurs life easier when reconciling payments at the end of the shift,” Mr Rothwell said.

Tyro launched its mobile EFTPOS technology two years ago working with the hospitality community developing and testing its solution. “We beat the big banks,” Mr Rothwell said. “With appropriate wait staff training, to give customers privacy when paying with the terminal, and Tyro’s easy to navigate workflow on the terminal, loss of tips need not be the nightmare restaurateurs imagine.”

“We knew that customers and restaurateurs would be impacted by the change and have worked on a solution that would ensure that nobody would be unnecessarily inconvenienced. Tyro’s solution is supported by diners, restaurant staff and restaurant managers who no longer have to spend lonely nights, after staff have gone home, punching numbers into terminals to process tips.”

“The PIN requirement puts the customer back in control. It’s virtually impossible for a fraudster to ascertain a PIN, while forging a signature is easy. Our wireless integrated pay at table EFTPOS system is a perfect complement to eliminating credit card signatures. Tyro’s mobile terminals revolutionise the customer paying experience and makes restaurant staff and owners lives much easier,” said Mr Rothwell.


Jost Stollmann is Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of Tyro Payments. In 1984 he founded and grew the German system and network integrator CompuNet Computer AG into a one billion dollar company. In 1996, he sold it to GE Capital US and led the integration and expansion of GE Capital IT Solutions across Europe.  In 1998, as Federal Shadow Minister of Economy and Technology, Jost ran his successful election campaign making a significant contribution to the landslide victory of Gerhard Schröder to the Chancellorship of Germany. Jost commissioned an award winning 40m high performance racer-cruiser and sailed with his family around the globe before settling in Sydney in 2004.