Why Deliveroo is advancing its payment tech

Flexible payments and enhanced analytics could foster loyalty among those on the ground.
1 August 2019

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Today’s most successful, up-and-coming businesses tend to have one thing in common— they’re all tech companies under the hood. 

Food delivery giant Deliveroo— of which Amazon has a major stake— has helped shatter the belief that food delivery means no-frills fast food, providing a new avenue of revenue for the restaurant industry— it’s also part of the ‘dark kitchen’ vanguard shaking up traditional restaurant business models. 

The UK-based platform is now present across Europe, Australia, the UAE and parts of Asia, working with 80,000 restaurant partners— including exclusive chain partnerships— while PwC has previously called it “one of the sharing economy’s quickest-growing stars”.  

Easy to use and integrate, Deliveroo’s tech is central to its success. Onboarding new partners and couriers is lightning fast enabling rapid scale. For customers, besides convenience and choice, rewarding UX is much of the appeal. 

Deliveroo’s tech is driven by a team of data scientists, software engineers, product designers, and cybersecurity specialists— every platform interaction provides Deliveroo a stream of data, which it can use to continually optimize its business and operations, and that of its partners as well.

Deliveroo ‘tech hub’

Now, the tech platform has acquired one of its partners— software design and development firm Cultivate that previously co-created its payments systems— providing the basis of what Deliveroo wants to become a ‘tech hub’ in the Scottish city of Edinburgh. 

Here, it will continue to enhance its payments experience for partners and couriers, providing more data to each of them, and offer additonal financial support such as cashflow management. Deliveroo plans to back this new tech center with 50 new jobs in the next three years. 

“Edinburgh is one of the UK’s fastest-growing tech hubs, with access to an excellent talent pool of highly skilled people and university graduates,” said Deliveroo VP of Engineering Dan Winn. 

“Deliveroo is committed to offering riders flexible, well-paid work and helping restaurants to grow their businesses. Building on Cultivate’s expertise, we are excited to create new products and services that will help us achieve this.”

Payments for Deliveroo partners

The food-delivery Unicorn’s bid to bolster payment technology for partners— and therefore boost loyalty to its platform— comes as Just Eat and Takeaway.com announced the “advanced stages” of a potential US$10 billion merger in Europe. At the same time, it continues to face fierce competition from Uber Eats. 

Set to take the reigns of Deliveroo’s new tech hub, Cultivate’s Chief Commercial Officer, Andy Robinson, said his firm was attracted by the “interesting problems” that it tackles with “modern and emerging technology.” 

He added that the platform’s “world-class software” would build a “center of excellence” in the Scottish city. 

Putting partners first

Deliveroo will leverage what has been thought to be a ‘modest’ deal to differentiate itself from its competition with technology. 

With new services on the horizon, it will add more efficient and flexible payment systems for couriers, allowing them to ‘cash out’ to access earnings quickly; provide better analytics for restaurants to plan for peak periods and popular items, and resources for restaurants and couriers to better manage finances. 

All of these spells a strategic move in adding value to those working on the ground of the sharing economy; those driving the platform behind the scenes. 

Too often in today’s age of on-demand, digital convenience, this group are overlooked in favor of the consumer— earning their loyalty could help secure a leading position.