Customers eating at UK restaurant chain Byron will now be able to pay their bill using a Facebook Messenger payment bot.

The bot, created by hospitality tech company Flyt, is the first of its kind to be fully rolled out in the UK.

Customers at the burger chain can select their restaurant’s location inside Facebook Messenger and enter their table number. Their bill data is then recalled from the point of sale system and appears in Messenger, where they can authorise it with one click.     

The Facebook Messenger payment bot builds upon Byron’s previous in-app mobile payment option but makes it more accessible by removing the need to download the chain’s app.

“This latest innovation using Facebook Messenger further decreases the friction for giving our guests control in how they choose to pay,” said Steve de Polo, managing director of Byron.

“We’re proud to be the first to roll out this service and are in the process of making it available across our restaurants.”

UK restaurant chain Wahaca piloted the payment bot earlier in the year. It accounted for up to 14.5% of payments. At its peak, the conversion rate was as high as 69%.

In May Flyt showcased the bot technology at the F8 Facebook Developer’s conference, where Facebook Messenger’s head of product said that the “wait staff are seeing tips 15% to 20% higher than they normally do”.

A shift to payment bots?

Many restaurants are increasingly offering pay-at-table experiences, but most require the customer to download the restaurant’s app. For regular restaurant frequenters, that can result in many apps taking up phone space at a time when many consumers are heading away from the app store.

Fly CEO Tom Weaver points out that the Facebook Messenger bot streamlines the whole process.

“This bot makes pay-at-table easily accessible as Facebook Messenger has 1.3 billion monthly active users worldwide,” he said.

“It’s the perfect example of how relatively simple tech can be used to improve the customer experience and draw more people to your restaurant.

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He added that it gives smaller, quick service restaurants the opportunity to support pay-at-table without having to build their own apps.

“They can sign-up as a sub-merchant via Adyen’s automatic onboarding process, which includes thorough KYC checks, and can start accepting Facebook Messenger payments in a matter of hours,” he said.

Restauranters can purchase the Facebook Messenger payment bot as an off-the-shelf solution from Flyt. Alternatively, software developers can use the platform to create their own payment bot for Facebook Messenger.

Read more: Uber Eats partners with Flyt for faster deliveries amid delivery revolution