The National Restaurant Association estimates that something like 100,000 eateries have closed either for now or forever, as health fears have struck at the heart of dining out.
After a revenue freefall of $165 billion between March and July, the sector is expected to lose almost a quarter-trillion dollars in 2020. What happens next is largely unknown, but there are lots of clues as to how things will shake out once the all-clear is sounded.
Into the confusion drops PYMNTS’ December 2020 Mobile Order-Ahead Tracker(R) done in collaboration with Kount. What becomes immediately clear is that independent restaurants, which lack the deep pockets of corporate chains, are staying strong and building in more resilience with digital capabilities to keep their mobile order-ahead (MOA) rally rolling.
As the new Tracker states, “eateries are turning to online and mobile ordering as well as delivery to stay afloat, with online order volume from food chains spiking by 225 percent since the pandemic began. These growing revenue streams carry their own risks, however, not the least of which is their propensity to be targeted by fraud.”
Fraud is of course a problem in the MOA ecosystem, and the latest Mobile Order-Ahead Tracker(R) contains prescriptive ideas for dealing with bad actors while serving good food.
Apps Appeal To Everyone, Even Bad Actors
When considering the scope of change that’s taken place within one calendar year, it’s head-spinning. “More than 46.5 million consumers around the U.S. use smartphone apps for food delivery, with this figure rising even higher when accounting for takeout or curbside pickup,” the Tracker states, adding that by 2023, some 54 million consumers will use MOA apps.
That’s a lot of spending and digital access — the ingredients of a fraudster’s favorite dish.
As the Tracker notes, a recent data breach of a mobile order-ahead app leaked 2.8 million accounts onto the dark web. Preventing these breaches is getting easier via platforming.
Rich Stuppy, chief customer experience officer at Kount, told PYMNTS that his company’s platform is armed to repel this new wave of digital dining devils. “Kount Control applies protection, policy customization and reporting to give restaurants [a] complete [safeguard against] account takeover,” he said. “It’s the industry’s first solution that provides an adaptive and customizable way to protect and enhance the entire customer journey. A system that can protect customer information can help businesses avoid brand and operational damage. Meanwhile, Kount’s Event-Based Bot Detection can stop malicious bots, allow good bots and quickly analyze, classify and adapt policies to new and questionable bots.”
Fighting Emerging Schemes
Online order volume from food chains has grown 225 percent over 2020, and the fraud figure buried in that growth is what all players large and small have in their collective crosshairs.
Systems that help both chains and independents operate with the confidence of strong anti-fraud protections are increasingly popular with a reformulating restaurant sector.
The new Mobile Order-Ahead Tracker(R) notes that “restaurants will have to step up their game when it comes to fraud detection and prevention. Utilizing AI in tandem with human analytics teams to examine individual transactions for fraud can be particularly effective in fighting these emerging schemes. Studies have suggested that these advanced technologies can improve fraud detection rates by as much as 50 percent and — just as importantly — reduce false positive rates by 60 percent.”
It’s a bright spot in a dark time, and fraud isn’t the only thing concerning foodies. They like expediency with a side of safety, and the Tracker notes that “inconvenience can be devastating as well, meaning QSRs will have their work cut out for them in the coming months and years as they attempt to balance these competing priorities. Recent vaccine announcements have heralded a coming end to the pandemic, but many of the schemes that have developed or picked up steam during the past year will continue well into the future.”
Read More On Mobile Order-Ahead:
- Restaurants Undergo Massive COVID-Era Redesign
- Deep Dive: How 2020’s Fraud Trends Will Shape Security Measures Going Forward
- FriendShip Kitchen Rolls Out Curbside Service Using Paytronix Platform
- ChowNow On How Independent Eateries Can Navigate Pandemic-Related Challenges