DOOM mongers will tell you that technology is responsible for us no longer talking to other people.
From online booking to self-service checkouts, more and more of our lives is becoming mechanised.
Like a lot of people, I feel anxious about this. But then again, I am also the sort of person that will still use the self-service checkout when there’s an empty manned checkout next door.
The latest in human-aversion technology is Flypay, an app which allows you to pay at a restaurant without doing that awkward eye contact and pretending-to-write-a-cheque hand gesture at the end of your meal.
Mexican restaurant Wahaca, which counts Bluewater as one of its four locations, is the first to introduce Flypay.
Surely this is something we can all welcome.
After all, restaurants are by their nature social and there is still a need for waiters and waitresses to serve you (just not the time-consuming, awkward paying bit), so there is no guilt associated with doing someone out of a job.
Everyone is a winner.
After a blow-out at Bluewater’s Wahaca – delicious as ever - I couldn’t wait to give the app a go.
It is easy to download and set up, with a demo walking you through the steps. If your intention is actually to save time and fuss at the end of the meal, you are far better doing this before you head to the restaurant.
Even entering your card details is easy: all you have to do is take a picture of it.
This made me feel uneasy - like you could take a picture of any card - but the more I thought of it the more I realised that’s true of about 80 per cent of card payments.
When the time comes to pay, you just scan a QR code on your table and it brings up a bill.
Where Flypay really comes into its own is the ability to easily split the bill. You can choose to pay it all, split it evenly between your group or just pay for what you ate.
Suddenly, the headache at the end of a birthday meal or work do is a breeze.
Tipping is simpler too, with options for amounts and percentages.
If you are all set up and ready to go, the whole process takes seconds and is completely painless.
Wandering out of a restaurant with appearing to have paid may feel odd at first but the staff have a screen clearly telling them you have, so there’s no need to worry.
Well done Wahaca for getting Flypay. Now everyone else just needs to catch up.
More food and drink: