LevelUp is a mobile app allowing customers to order ahead at thousands of restaurants nationwide. The app, which is available for both iOS and Android devices, once downloaded, requires the user to link their valid credit or debit card to the account so that they can then order food from any restaurant available on the LevelUp app. After ordering and paying in the app, customers will receive a unique QR code, which they will show upon picking up their order, allowing them to skip lines and wait times.
Although LevelUp is not a "traditional" mobile wallet app like Venmo or Google Pay, and customers are restricted to purchases in LevelUp's restaurant network, it is a convenient way to cut down time in ordering food while enjoying the ease of paying from your phone.
Continue reading for a breakdown of LevelUp pros and cons.
LevelUp is currently accepted at over 14,000 locations, and this number is growing. Customers will likely encounter the option to use their LevelUp account at their favorite restaurants in the near future. Using LevelUp is quite simple, a merchant installs a QR code reader as their point-of-sale device. LevelUp account holders each have an individual QR code, which is encrypted with their payment token.
While many companies offer mobile payment solutions for customers with Apple and Android devices, they do not support Windows phones. LevelUp supports all three major mobile phone platforms, with their free app being available in the Windows Marketplace, iTunes and Google Play Store.
In the past, users could only add one credit card payment method to their account at one time. However, recently LevelUp added new ways to pay, including the option to add multiple credit cards to your account, or connecting a Chase bank account to pay using points. It is unclear if you can connect other bank accounts directly to your LevelUp account.
LevelUp is available on iOS and Android devices, and most recently, is now available as an app on Windows Phone. LevelUp was not available on Windows Phone in the past.
LevelUp offers solid security features and are 100 percent in compliance with PCI guidelines. All personal information is encrypted and stored in redundant secure servers. All payment information is stored by Braintree, in a secure environment. The company employs a Triple Token System. According to the company, "The data encoded in the QR code you use to transact is NOT your credit or debit card information. It's a randomly generated token with no meaningful information in it. You can reset it at any time. It maps to a token on our servers which maps to yet another token in the Braintree Vault. Only the combination of these tokens (and two other factors of authentication) can initiate a transaction."
Customers also have the option to pin-lock their LevelUp app offering additional protection. Another benefit of using LevelUp to order and pay for purchased food is that your phone will never leave your hand - you show the merchant your QR code, which they will then scan, finalizing the transaction. This can be a safer option than credit or debit cards, which the waiter/waitress will generally take from your table while completing your transaction - this can take a few minutes to complete before they return to your table with your card. With LevelUp, the waiter/waitress will bring the LevelUp scanner/terminal to your table, through which you can pay for your meal.
If you have questions about LevelUp security and personal information protection, you can contact LevelUp directly and you will be referred to the security team as soon as possible, of not immediately.
In spite of many benefits to using LevelUp, there are some significant drawbacks. The service is being offered in more restaurants regularly, but there is still a rather significant majority of restaurants who do not accept LevelUp payments. The service will only store a single payment card, so it does not give many options, nor does the app replace one's wallet digitally.
While supporting wearable devices, such as apple or Android watched, some customers have complained that the app itself is glitchy on their Android watches when attempting to pay.
The Review Team and customers have had difficulty learning more about the company or contacting live customer service, which is extremely frustrating. Contact information is not available and the only way to contact customer support is via a form online, requesting an emailed response. This practice does not leave the customer feeling secure when they have a question for which they want a quick response.
Tiffany I Gaithersburg, MD
2 years ago