Pre-paid restaurant card companies in trouble
“A good scare is worth more than good advice,” a Turkish proverb says.
Last month a pre-paid restaurant card company went offline for almost a week after it was targeted by hackers who left its systems vulnerable to attack. Financial institutions are most vulnerable to such attacks but normally it can be rectified in hours or a day. If you don’t have a proper defence mechanism and backups, however, then you can experience week-long blackouts, which is inexcusable. And if you are a market leader, that makes it doubly bad.
The blow to the industry comes at a sensitive time. In recent weeks, pre-paid card providers and restaurant owners have been battling over commissions. Restaurant owners complain about commissions that go as high as 11 percent, arguing that such steep rates undermine sustainability.
The restaurant industry is already in trouble. One in every two restaurants go out of business every year, according to Yemeksepeti data. A former white collar worker that launched a restaurant serving lunch for other white collar workers in Kavacik district is now mulling over whether to go back to a salaried job in the IT industry.
Last month, representatives of the restaurant industry held talks with pre-paid card providers to renegotiate commissions and came to an agreement that would offer them some relief. But the industry is ultimately looking to wrest itself free from the clutches of pre-paid card companies by establishing its own pre-paid payment solutions company. The new company, according to industry insiders, is expected to slash commisions by 25 percent and change the rules in favor of restaurants and pre-paid cardholders.
The pre-paid card industry faces other challenges as well. Last year, the Competition Board had to launch a probe against Sodexo, Multinet, Edenred, Winwin and Setcard after the Council of State rejected the Board’s decision to ignore a 2010 application by the restaurant industry for an investigation into pre-paid card companies’ practices.