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Quik Fixes

Friday, October 17, 2014

QuikWallet is an exciting new service that aims to make paying for your restaurant bills easier, quicker and safer. Dev Goswami talks to co-founder Mohit Lalwani about the concept and gives you his verdict of the application

Imagine being able to pay for your restaurant bill without having to check how much money you have in your wallet or even having to whip out your debit/credit card. No, Apple Pay hasn’t come to India, and we’re not asking you to run away without paying your bill either. We’re talking about QuikWallet, a new application and web-based service, which allows you to pay for your restaurant bill by using your card’s online transaction service. Sounds interesting, right? We were intrigued as well and so, made our way to Salt Water Café for their launch event, to check out the application. But, before we tell you about what we thought of it, the co-founder of QuikWallet and the CEO of LivQuik, the company behind this application, tells us a little bit about the product.

QuikWallet sounds like an amazing concept. Tell us what led you to the inception of this service?
I was at a Café Coffee Day (CCD) outlet and after placing my order, I realised that I had run out of cash. I couldn’t even pay with my credit card, because the credit card machine at the outlet wasn’t working. Adding to that, the ATM next door was out of order. Finally, after digging around in my wallet, I found a CCD prepaid card, which I then topped up from the CCD website using my smart phone and credit card, and then used the prepaid card to pay my bill. So, despite having a valid, working credit card, I couldn’t pay for a cup of coffee, because of faulty machines. That’s when I realised the need for a solution that would allow me to use my credit/ debit card anywhere — offline or online, without being dependent on card readers, ATMs and merchant machines.

Can you explain how the service and the application works?
The service is very easy to use; when you’re at a restaurant that accepts QuikWallet, you need to give the waiter your mobile number and as you order items, your bill is updated in real time on the QuikWallet application on your phone. When you’re done with your meal, all you need to do is close the bill­ in the application and pay for it with the credit/debit cards stored in the application. You don’t need to hand your card over to the waiter, wait for him to get the card machine to you and enter your pin; it’s an absolutely smooth and seamless experience.

Are there any features that you wanted to include in the application and weren’t able to?
We wanted to build an order-ahead service, but there are numerous challenges on the technical side. The pace of innovation in restaurant operations technology is not on par with the innovation in smartphones and the internet. There has also been a lot of talk about how an international cab service is flouting Indian regulations laid down by the Reserve Bank of India regarding the second factor of authentication. This was something that we could have included in the application, but we decided that it’s in the best interest of our consumers to avoid using this facility. There might be some friction in the user experience, but safety trumps everything!

Apart from restaurants, do you see QuikWallet being used for retail transactions in the future?
Yes, we plan to launch tie-ups with a few retail brands by the end of next year.

Tell us about the future plans for the application and the service.
We’ve built a few extensions to our product that will allow all merchants to collect card payments easily without investing in any hardware. We plan to market this soon.

Our take
By now, we are sure that you are as intrigued by QuikWallet as we were when we first heard about it. So, does it deliver on its promises? Yes! The application is surprisingly easy to use and features a beautiful, clean interface. One of the first things that impressed me was the in-built passcode. While Android users won’t be surprised, if you use an iOS device, you will know that locking individual applications is not an easily available feature. However, QuikWallet has this feature built-in and so, every time you launch the application from your device, you will have to enter a 4-digit passcode.

The interface of the application is neat and intuitive. The home-screen uses your GPS to give you a list of the closest restaurants to your location, which accept QuikWallet for payments. The list also displays names and phone numbers ; if you tap on a restaurant’s name, you can call them directly from the application (it switches to your calling application) and you can also take a look at the menu without leaving the application.

The top left part of your screen displays the menu button, where you can check your account settings, your past bills and transactions, view and/or save a card (debit or credit) and track your current bill. While you can give the waiter your phone number at the end of the meal so that the restaurant can send it to your application, I love how QuikWallet updates your bill in real-time if you give the restaurant your number in advance. This makes it easy to check for incorrect orders or extra charges.

As far as the payment system is concerned, it’s just like shopping online. Once you’re ready to pay, you hit pay on your application. You can then enter your card details or choose a saved card and enter your 3-digit CVV number. The application then transfers you to your bank’s payment getaway page on your phone’s browser, where, depending on your card type, you enter your Verified by Visa or MasterCard 3D Secure password. This final step is an important safety feature that I appreciated, because it means that to authorise the payment, you have to deal directly with your bank and not with QuikWallet or with
the restaurant.

The application works flawlessly. My only gripe was that you need the restaurant to have good WiFi service. From my experience, it is hard to get good reception in a restaurant — this is exactly what happened at Salt Water Café, where I was trying the service out. Lack of cellphone reception meant that I had to switch over to their WiFi ( which was equally slow) to use QuikWallet — but that’s not something that you can blame them for.

Since the application only saves your name, card number and expiry date (not the CVV number or your online transaction password), you won’t have to worry about safety when you save your card details with them. Do I see myself using this application? Definitely! An impressive list of restaurants (see box) already accept QuikWallet, it’s easy to use and it is clear that safety is their top priority. It’s a wonderful idea, which they have managed to implement perfectly. Download the application to check it out. You won’t be disappointed!

Restaurants that currently accept QuikWallet include: Smoke House Deli | Mocha | Salt Water Café | Prithvi Café | Hokey Pokey | Zaffran | Niblette | Between Breads | British Brewing Company | The Beer Café | WTF! | Loca Loca | Le Café

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