The Mobile Den system is just the latest in a number of systems that aiming to change the way customers pay at cafes and other types of shops.
We have previously reported on services such as Beat the Q that allow customers to order coffee and other takeaway items before they reach the restaurant of cafe.
We've also mentioned modern point of sale systems such as Vend, and the integration of loyalty programs and mobile apps.
But what if there was a way of integrating all these functions and putting your own branding on what the customer sees?
In a nutshell, that's the promise of Mobile Den
. Jointly developed by digital agency Gruden and POS provider MICROS, the first adopters are Starbucks Australia and Mexican food chain Guzman Y Gomez.
At Starbucks' Mobile Den allows customers to set up and recharge a Starbucks purchasing account from a mobile app, and then pay at the counter by presenting the phone. The app also collects loyalty points.
Similarly, Guzman Y Gomez started with its loyalty program, enabling smartphones to be scanned instead of plastic cards when collecting points. The next step will be to add mobile ordering and payment.
Other capabilities provided by Mobile Den include targeted promotions and offers, a store locator, social media integration, and integration with the iPhone Passbook feature.
According to Gruden officials, the system can be implemented in six to eight weeks.
At this stage Mobile Den is being marketed to medium to large chains and franchise operations, but we think it has potential for small businesses in the retail and hospitality sectors.