OpenTable is taking its restaurant reservations service into a new vertical today, according to the company: mobile payments. According to a post on the OpenTable blog, a pilot program is currently underway in San Francisco that allows diners to not only reserve a table, but also pay for their meal directly within the OpenTable iPhone app.
“Select restaurants” is testing partners for the new service, and more diners will be invited to test the program over the coming weeks as OpenTable opens a way for interested users to request access. Some invitations will also be sent (most likely to frequent OpenTable users) via email. Testers may also be invited to an in-person Q&A at OpenTable headquarters in San Francisco. (In related news, did you know TechCrunch has an advice hotline?)
If invited to the pilot, diners will only need to add a credit card to the OpenTable iPhone app before their meal. “There’s no scanning or barcodes,” the company explains via the blog. You will also be able to view your check, item by item, in the application, as shown in a screenshot (see above).
The company hasn’t revealed its timeline for a wider launch, as the program is still in its initial stages.
That OpenTable is moving into the payments space isn’t surprising, but it also means it will be up against a number of competing restaurant-focused payment solutions already in the market today, such as Tabbedout, E la Carte, Cover, Dash and others, including, to some extent, broader payment solutions like Square.