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Hungryhouse adopts Braintree payments

Takeaway ordering service seeks to make payments experience easier for customers

Online takeaway service Hungryhouse has added the Braintree online platform to the choice of payment methods it offers customers.

Hungryhouse wanted to make customers’ payment experience as easy as possible by giving them a variety of options.

The firm has integrated Amex, Apple Pay and PayPal with its previous payment choices, keen to offer customers the latest methods available.

Before turning to Braintree, which is owned by PayPal, to help it integrate new payment methods, Hungryhouse was using PayPoint.

“Hungryhouse started working with PayPoint in the early days of e-commerce, when payment providers were more reluctant to work with young, unproven startups,” says Arthur Maas, Hungryhouse’s head of product.

But as the firm grew, so did it its need to integrate as many payment methods as were demanded by customers, and so it partnered with Braintree to streamline its payments process.

“Before, our app payment flow, as is the case with many apps, sent the user to a webview that looked and felt very different from the rest of our app experience,” says Maas. “We wanted a better experience for our customers.”

Hungryhouse wanted to adopt a single software development kit (SDK) to support all its payment methods rather than continue to test and maintain the multiple webviews it supported through each of its app versions – sometimes leading to hundreds of tests and updates.

Braintree offered SDKs for both mobile and web, enabling Hungryhouse to implement new payment methods for both its mobile and browser offerings. The systems also support 3D Secure, an extra step for authenticating cards during online payments.

Customer service is key

Maas says the payments part of the customer experience is just as important as any other service provided through an app or website.

Using Braintree has helped Hungryhouse to give customers a consistent payment experience, no matter what platform or method they choose, he says.

“Payment experience is a huge part of the overall customer experience,” Maas adds.

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“Offering all major payment methods is a basic element of customer service. Braintree’s ‘mobile first’ approach means that no matter what device is used, it will look and feel like the rest of our service. We continue to receive feedback that customers love our new payment methods – PayPal, Apple Pay and Amex.”

This approach extends to Hungryhouse’s loyalty scheme, and Maas emphasises that offering a good service, as well as fixing problems quickly and making customers feel valued, is important to any business, online or offline.

Our business only works if our customers come back and order often,” he says. “We have a simple loyalty scheme that works like a coffee punch card. When a customer orders five times at a participating restaurant, the sixth order is 50% off. Our customers and restaurants love it.

Customer service is important for all businesses. Online businesses, especially ones that require real-time action, only work if there is trust and follow-through.”

Omnichannel retail growth

Many businesses, especially those launched in the past five years, have a heavy online presence, but many have said businesses will not survive if they are purely online or bricks and mortar.

Hungryhouse partners with 10,000 restaurants in the UK that deliver food to customers who have ordered through the Hungryhouse app or website. This makes up the firm’s offline presence.

Maas highlights the importance of ensuring that any customer issues on the ground are resolved, for example if the weather or human error cause delivery problems.

“Our business has never been online only,” he says. “The most important ingredient – no pun intended – is that our customers get high-quality food quickly. This is completely offline and will continue to be this way until the sky is filled with drones delivering curries and pizzas.”

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