According to the Mercator Advisory Group, restaurants account for 70-90 percent of credit card information theft. And if you think about it, it makes sense—sit-down eateries are one of the only places where you give a stranger your credit card, and they walk away with it.

That’s why Andrew Pope and Joseph Snell teamed up to develop a digital bill folder they call RAIL. It lets customers self-swipe credit or debit cards, as well as pay with a smart phone, with cash, or with a secure payment method such as PayPal. It also has the added benefit of encrypting each card transaction directly at the time of the card swipe, eliminating the need for restaurants to store customer card information.

With RAIL, guests can split a bill (equally or by item), auto-calculate tips, and email receipts. The digital bill fold can even allow restaurants customers to call a cab, use gift card purchases, or sign up for loyalty programs directly from the comfort of their table.

So far, San Francisco’s Joie de Vivre Hotels, New Orleans’ Dickie Brennan’s, and select locations of P.F. Chang’s have announced they will begin using RAIL.

“We have been looking for a pay at the table solution for several years but haven’t found one that made sense for our operations and brand,” says Morgan Plant, Vice President of Food and Beverage for Joie de Vivre Hotels, to Business Insider. “Our hope is that we can process checks more quickly for our guests, and take away the issue of having a credit card ever leave a guest’s hands—providing stronger security.”

The system is sold as a subscription service to the restaurants, with a 60-table restaurant paying on average between $500-600 per month.

By: Megan Willett

Business Insider