- Cash payments are rapidly declining in favour of credit, debit, and digital wallet payments
- Businesses that historically relied on cash or coin payments need to adapt with new technology
- Contactless tap-to-pay terminals are revolutionizing the unattended car wash industry
The number of people that go about their daily routines carrying physical currency in the form of cash and coins in their pockets, wallets, and purses continues to decline rapidly as more and more are preferring alternate forms of payment such as debit cards, credit cards, and digital wallets. This is particularly impactful for unattended businesses who historically relied on coin-operated systems, such as unattended car washes.
For many years now, the frequency of payments made using cash has been slowing down as adoption of digital payment technology continues to progress from coast to coast across all industry verticals and business sectors. As a result, there are simply fewer people carrying cash around. There’s just not as much of a need for it anymore as cashless payments continue to be the preferred methods for transactions of all types. This is a major obstacle for businesses like unattended car washes that have always depended on coin-operated mechanisms, but it also presents a significant opportunity for car wash owners who choose to invest in contactless payment systems.
Recently, due to the dramatic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, these trends have only accelerated. Efforts to control the spread of the virus included widespread overhaul of business processes to minimize the number of physical touch-points and eliminate unnecessary contact wherever possible. As this relates to payment processing, it meant that most businesses increased the emphasis to their customers on paying with cashless methods like debit cards, credit cards, and digital wallets, while some businesses opted to just flat-out refuse to accept any physical cash payments. As the pandemic has worn on for over two years now, you can probably imagine just how many car wash businesses have chosen to change to a payment model that is entirely cashless.
However, it’s not just out of necessity that cashless payment methods are so much more popular these days. There are many profound benefits that unattended car washes can realize by changing to a modern contactless payment processing system. In fact, these advantages are so significant that car washes who choose to invest in tap-to-pay systems are gaining market share, improving profitability, and achieving higher levels of customer satisfaction. Let’s explore these key advantages of unattended payment systems in more detail.
Attract New Customers by Accepting More Payment Types
Car washes that are only equipped with coin-operated payment systems are very limited in the types of customers that they can attract. Only those with enough coins on-hand, or who are willing to obtain coins before they arrive, are able to use the car wash equipment. Anyone who only has digital or card payment methods on them, or who just doesn’t want to pay with coins, are simply going to pass this business by in favour of one that is better equipped to accommodate their preferences.
Contrast this to a competing car wash that not only accepts coins, but also debit cards, credit cards, digital wallets, Apple Pay, Google Pay, and others. In this case, it really doesn’t matter how the customer wants to pay, because this business can handle them all. This level of accessibility is a major advantage for businesses that thrive on convenience such as those in the car wash industry. Customers will be far more likely to stop for a car wash that is both convenient and able to accommodate their preferences. Having a more capable and flexible payment processing system can go a long way to enticing new customers into stopping for a wash.
Increase Average Customer Spend with Easy Add-Ons
Another limitation to coin-based car washes is that it restricts the types of add-ons that customers may consider purchasing because they want to make sure they have enough cash to get their car properly cleaned, and may not have enough to purchase upgrades for their wash. Once the coins are used up, that’s all they can do, so many customers just do the basics and then move on with the rest of their day.
Cashless payments, on the other hand, make it a lot easier to purchase those nice ‘extras’ like tire cleaner, hot wax, floor mat cleaning, interior fabric cleaning, and more. Customers can simply tap to pay with a contactless payment terminal to add on extra services, thereby boosting the average total spend with each visit. By making it simple and easy to purchase those wash upgrades, revenue per customer goes up, and so do your profits.
Reinforce Loyalty with A Functional Rewards Program
One of the most effective ways to increase the frequency of customer visits, as well as to encourage a higher average spend, is with a well-structured customer loyalty and rewards program. This can be extremely difficult for cash-based car washes who would require some type of staff attention in order to effectively manage the program and apply the correct rewards to customer accounts. Naturally, for a mostly unattended type of business, the idea of increasing reliance on staff to handle this type of program doesn’t make a lot of sense. However, with the right payment processing system, implementing an easy-to-use customer rewards program overcomes these challenges and delivers significant advantages for the business.
Contactless payment terminals and smartphone-based apps have the ability to put control of a customer’s rewards account right in the palm of their hand. Customers can manage their points balance, redeem for rewards, and earn points all from the same intuitive app interface on their mobile device, and pay with a tap at the contactless payment terminal located at their wash bay. With modern contactless payment terminals, your car wash can take advantage of all the benefits of a powerful customer loyalty program.
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Enhance Efficiencies by Eliminating Cash and Coin Counting
These benefits are sure to convince any car wash owner that a contactless POS solution is the right way to go, but the positive aspects don’t end there. Another downside to coin-based payments is the amount of hassle that’s associated with handling coins, counting them, depositing them, and otherwise just moving money from one physical place to another. Ultimately, it’s just not necessary anymore.
Switching to a cashless payment system can save significant time on the back end of managing the business by eliminating these physical money-moving tasks entirely. Plus, with digital payments, the money your business makes gets deposited much faster into your accounts, making it easier and more efficient to manage operating costs, paying expenses, and making sure funds go to the right places at the right time. Accounting’s job gets easier, too, since every dollar is immediately tracked and visible with no delay. Overall, there are many efficiencies that can be gained by changing to a cashless contactless payment system.
The Right Payment System with The Right Merchant Services Provider
Another important factor to consider when making the switch to a new contactless POS solution for your car wash is what kind of support and service your business needs to really achieve the success you’re after. The technology is certainly critical, but proper setup, configuration, service, and ongoing support are what keeps the money-making machine running smoothly. You’ll want to take a very close look at the level of customer service and technical support offered by the merchant services provider to make sure they’ve got the expertise to set you up for success, and that they’re always going to be there when you need them.
When you choose MONEXgroup, our team of payment processing experts will work side-by-side with you to ensure that your new contactless POS solution is configured with all the features and capabilities your business needs to deliver an exceptional customer experience and drive sales higher. We’ll help you select the best system for the unique needs of your car wash operation, and equip you with durable weatherproof Tap & Wash contactless payment terminals that can accept payments of all types quickly and securely. We also back up our clients with around-the-clock customer care and 24/7/365 technical support to ensure your business is always operating at peak efficiency.
Elevate Your Unattended Car Wash to New Levels of Sales Performance and Profitability
If your business is ready to accelerate towards success with an unattended cashless car wash payment system, now is the time to contact the team here at MONEXgroup. We’ll help you every step of the way with the best technology and unparalleled customer support. Contactless payments are the way of the future for unattended car wash businesses, so take action now to get the right system in place to grow sales and attract new customer segments.
Author: Layal Scheirich, Head of Sales at MONEXgroup
Bio: With 18 years of experience in payment processing and merchant services, Layal has seen in-store POS technology evolve from its humble beginnings to contactless, unattended, mobile and online alternatives. Today, Layal is an inspiration to the MONEXgroup’s team and a go-to source of information related to payment processing. She is enthusiastic to share her knowledge with audiences interested in cutting-edge technologies available today, such as unattended payment for self-serve kiosks, e-commerce online payment gateways, virtual terminals, and contactless and mobile payment solutions.
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Contact Info: firstname.lastname@example.org
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