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RBS falls 2% after failing BoE stress test

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China capital curbs reflect buyer’s remorse over market reforms

Last year the reformist head of China’s central bank convinced his Communist party bosses to give market forces a bigger say in setting the renminbi’s daily “reference rate” against the US dollar. In return, Zhou Xiaochuan assured his more conservative party colleagues that the redback would finally secure coveted recognition as an official reserve currency […]

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Carney: UK is ‘investment banker for Europe’

The governor of the Bank of England has repeated his calls for a “smooth and orderly” UK exit from the EU, saying that a transition out of the bloc will happen, it was just a case of “when and how”. Responding to the BoE’s latest bank stress tests, where lenders overall emerged with more resilient […]

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Categorized | Financial

No more waving at waiters for the bill

Posted on March 26, 2014


The exaggerated writing gesture used by restaurant diners to get a waiter’s attention is a hand signal understood almost everywhere in the world. There is a reason for this recognition: no one enjoys hanging around to settle their food bill.

Help is on its way, however, in the form of a couple of smartphone app businesses.

London-based Flypay launched its service this month in mid-market UK restaurant chains Wahaca and Burrito Mama, having secured a £1m investment from private equity firm Entrée Capital.

Diners either scan or enter a Flypay code to receive an itemised bill on their smartphone. Once payment has been made, using debit or credit cards, the app notifies the restaurant, leaving the diners free to leave, and saving the waiting staff the bother of bringing over chip-and-pin terminals.

    A similar service is offered by MyCheck, which operates in Tel Aviv, London and New York, and has raised $6.1m since it was founded in 2011. MyCheck is the largest mobile payment company in Israel, with more than 100,000 direct subscribers and more than 1m indirect users through its partnership with Pango, the country’s nationwide electronic parking payment provider and Isracard (MasterCard Israel).

    More than 400 merchants in Israel accept MyCheck, which allows users to pay for petrol, parking, taxis and hotels as well as settle restaurant bills.

    Flypay’s app may be more limited in its scope but it claims to make the bill payment process more efficient. For instance, unlike MyCheck, Flypay does not require a four-digit pin to be handed to a waiter. Whichever system cracks it, eating out is unlikely to be the same again. The only worry left for diners will be how to split the bill.