PayPal and TouchBistro combine mobile payments with point of sale

PayPal and Toronto-based TouchBistro have partnered for a pilot project in select restaurants around the city to allow users to pay with their phones over the cloud.

TouchBistro operates a number of iPad-based point of sale terminals throughout North America, including Steamwhistle Brewery, Fidel Gastro’s, Spirithouse and Jimmy’s Coffee, the latter of which will be included in the pilot program.

The startup utilizes the power of the cloud to connect iPads to cash drawers and printers, mimicking a traditional point of sale experience without the large overhead. Jimmy’s Coffee will be the recipient of TB’s partnership with PayPal, whereby users will be able to check in to the cafe and pay with PayPal.

It uses PayPal’s existing check-in feature, which then hooks into a user’s balance, either within the service itself or through a debit or credit card.

When someone checks in using PayPal at a participating location, a customer service rep will be able to see his or her name and picture for easy identification and to more quickly process the payment. It’s an amazing use of complementary technologies, and I’d love to see more of it in quick-service outfits like coffee shops.

Eliminating the need for a customer to hand over cash or swipe a card means that users can use just a smartphone, which they’re likely using while waiting in line anyway.