,UK

How fintech will continue to transform franchising in 2022

By Lee Jones

When you look at the modern world of franchising, the notion of manual cash registers and doing inventory by hand seems very antiquated. Today, franchising moves rapidly with technology engrained into nearly every part of operations. Accelerated by the impact of COVID-19, technology continues to disrupt the way franchisees manage their finances and will only increase as we look to 2022, and as the franchising space becomes progressively more 
competitive.

Digital payments bolster sales
Consumer behaviour has also undergone a significant transformation in recent years, particularly since the start of the pandemic, as e-commerce sales rose dramatically. As a result, many have embraced a digital lifestyle. To help franchisees adapt in line with this shift, by enhancing their digital capabilities, mobile payment apps such as Apple and Google Pay enable one-click payments. This circumvents the need for physical cards and multiple apps for business owners to grapple with.

Another example of innovative payment technology is Scan and Pay which speeds up the sales process and allows QSR customers to eradicate the need for staff interaction by utilising QR code and barcodes to check out. This technology can also enable customers to scan their tables and place orders direct with third-party examples including Tabbed Out, Cover and Dash.

Expanding on the third-party app narrative, the rise of platforms such as Uber Eats and Deliveroo have provided franchisees with a huge opportunity to dramatically increase sales without forking out on additional overheads. What’s more, brands are also linking up with Alexa and similar devices which creates an even more frictionless service for customers who can place orders simply by speaking!

A new era for customer loyalty 
Loyalty programmes already formed an essential part of the franchising business model, even prior to the pandemic. But now, with delivery services thriving, these programmes offer fresh prospects for generating recurring revenue and promoting customer satisfaction. All major QSR brands have now released some form of digital loyalty card, as have eat-in franchise chains such as Nando’s. The integration of loyalty schemes with mobile portable points of sale could also help businesses maintain loyalty and bring first-time customers back, delivering valuable repeat business during challenging times.

Another string to the loyalty bow is the adoption of the subscription model. What used to be favoured solely by gyms and magazines has spread with more companies than ever looking at how to gain repeat custom by raising efficiency levels. This approach works especially well in a franchise system and is driven by four key factors:

  • Price
  • Personalisation
  • Convenience
  • Curation

Franchising + FinTech = profit
Of course, there are many more examples of how FinTech continues to change the game for franchisees and those looking to get a leg up on competitors - by building customer loyalty and increasing sales - would do well to consider making an investment. With that in mind, it is important to carefully weigh up the best providers and solutions before making any decisions.

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