PayPal Canada has launched a pilot program in Toronto to let dining customers pay with their smartphones. The payments giant is collaborating on the project with TouchBistro, which operates iPad-based POS systems in restaurants, according to a news release.

The cloud-based mobile app lets customers check in to cafés or restaurants and pay using their PayPal account. After they check in, their name and profile picture shows up at the point of sale.

"We're collaborating globally with existing POS providers so that businesses don't have to rip or install new hardware to deliver unique and useful mobile payment experiences for their customers," Darrell MacMullin, managing director, PayPal Canada, said in the release.

"Small businesses in Canada are eager to accept mobile payments, but they've been wary of investing in new and expensive hardware at the point of sale," TouchBistro CEO Alex Barrotti said in the release.

One pilot participant, Jimmy's Coffee, previously accepted only cash and debit card payments, and said staff finds that people who pay with PayPal help keep lines moving more quickly during peak hours.

"If a customer checks in with the PayPal mobile app, their photograph shows up at our TouchBistro iPad POS and we greet them by name or have a conversation about their profile pic," Penny Vine, store manager, said in the release. "It's driving a whole new level of service, loyalty and convenience."

Learn more about POS.

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