Kirkland startup Viableware has announced a new payment system that allows restaurant customers to pay their bills at their table by credit card. The system, called “Rail,” uses a handheld, wireless device enclosed in a restaurant bill folder. The device includes both a magstripe and an NFC reader.
A number of companies are offering devices and applications for collecting payments on mobile devices such as smartphones and iPads, but Viableware is positioned as a high-security, enterprise product. The Rail devices are also more economical and durable — able to withstand falls, spilled beverages or ketchup smears, [Viableware Chief Executive Joe] Snell said.
The company’s software lets customers split bills up to nine ways, or pay for individual items on a shared tab. Then they swipe their card, sign on the screen and have their receipt emailed or printed out in the restaurant.
A large restaurant is charged $450 per month for the main service, but can pay for additional services, such as customer surveys, couponing options or a taxi hailing program. There are currently 80 apps available, and Viableware is developing more.