Please tap your pizza order

Please tap your pizza order

SAI Biz Solutions, a local software development firm, is introducing what it calls Thailand's first near field communication-based restaurant ordering system to serve the increasing number of NFC-enabled smartphones.

Would you like sausage on that? The menu of the smartphone app is shown at Big Mama Pizzeria. NFC-enabled smartphones can be used to order at the Bangkok eatery.

Big Mama Pizzeria is the first restaurant using NFC technology in the country.

NFC technology is a contactless communication between devices like smartphones or tablets, allowing them to securely exchange data with other devices containing a NFC tag.

Developed by SAI Biz Solutions, managing director Ashoo Agarwal said the system is expected to create a new revenue stream for the company, apart from its consulting and IT infrastructure services.

The system requires users with NFC-enabled devices to place their order by tapping their phones in the shop. The system will then automatically display a menu plus details on ingredients and prices on the user's phone.

The order is sent to the kitchen and an estimate of how long until the food is served will be sent back to the user's phone.

"This system could cut waiting time for waiters during peak hours. It could also help overcome language barriers for foreign customers when communicating with waiters," she said.

Ms Agarwal said after credit card firm MasterCard agrees to support NFC payments in Thailand, users will be able to directly conduct payment via credit cards on their phones with no need to swipe their credit cards at a cashier.

Nokia, Samsung, BlackBerry and the new Apple iPhone 5 all are NFC-enabled.

SAI is aiming to expand into fast food chains and medium-sized restaurant. The company charges 30,000 baht for a one-time investment.

She said SAI is also developing a conceptual design for parking system controls, universities and hospitals.

"We expect revenue from NFC-related development service will account for 80% of total revenue within a few years," said Ms Agarwal.

SAI plans to expand to Singapore next year, she added.

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