Innovation That Matters

App lets consumers open and pay a bar tab by phone

Work & Lifestyle

The ability to pay for purchases by mobile phone may be common in some parts of the world, but it’s by no means ubiquitous. Similar to the way RideCharge lets consumers book a taxi and pay their fare by phone, TabbedOut lets them open a tab at their favourite bar and then close it out by phone when they’re ready to go. The brainchild of Texas-based ATX Innovation, TabbedOut is available as a free app for both iPhone and Android; Blackberry support is coming soon, the company says. Currently, consumers in Austin and Dallas as well as Chico, Calif., can use the app to manage their bar tabs at participating venues. They begin by downloading and setting up the application, including entering account information for one or more credit or debit cards; once stored, those accounts are displayed only via the last four digits. Next, when they’re ready to visit a bar, they can use the app to see which ones near them are linked with TabbedOut. The software is integrated directly with participating restaurants and bars so as to allow consumers to open and view a tab directly from the point-of-sale system. Opening a tab with TabbedOut essentially provides the bar with the consumer’s stored payment information up front; in return, he or she is given a code that the bartender uses to keep track of each drink. When it’s time to go, the consumer simply opens the app, enters a tip and selects “pay.” TabbedOut can send a copy of the receipt via email; it also archives the information for later use in expense reports, for example. ATX charges consumers 99 cents for each tab paid using TabbedOut. Aiming for a nationwide expansion, ATX is currently seeking strategic partnerships with POS providers, resellers and hospitality vendors; one to get in on early…? Spotted by: Cecilia Biemann



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