Many businesses rely on the convenience of unattended outdoor payment processing systems to serve customers. However, not all unattended payment systems are suitable for regions that experience drastic temperature swings, heavy rainfall, or intense snow. To work reliably and consistently in these types of environments, a special type of weatherproof payment terminal is needed to withstand these forces of nature.
In many places around the world, the weather isn’t always as hospitable as we would like it to be. For electronic devices, such as those used in unattended payment stations, this can result in decreased reliability and a higher instance of malfunctions. Conditions such as extreme heat and cold, along with excessive rain and snow, can wreak havoc on the internal electronics and digital LCD screens commonly used in payment processing systems. It’s critical for businesses that depend on these outdoor payment terminals that the technology is durable enough to withstand even the most severe weather.
Advantages of Offering Outdoor Unattended Payments to Customers
Even with these environmental challenges, the advantages of offering customers outdoor unattended payments are numerous and substantial. Unattended payment systems provide an opportunity to reach a broader range of customers and improve convenience. Instead of concentrating on operating hours when physical staff can be present to accept payments, unattended systems can offer 24/7/365 accessibility. In addition, self-serve payment solutions can be installed in remote locations to expand the reach of a business to new markets.
For businesses that focus on serving their customers in outdoor environments, it is an absolute necessity to have payment processing systems that can continue to function in all weather conditions. Reliability is of utmost importance in order to deliver a positive customer experience. Providing consistency, ease-of-use, and round-the-clock accessibility to customers helps outdoor unattended businesses drive profitability, increase market share, and boost customer satisfaction. Let’s examine a few of the most prominent business applications for outdoor payment terminals.
Year-Round Businesses that Rely on Unattended Payment Processing Systems
There are many applications where the ability to accept payments using an outdoor unattended terminal is simply the best way of efficiently serving customers.
Gas Stations and Vehicle Charging Stations – When it comes to products that are in-demand at all hours of the day and in all locations, there are few as essential as fuel for vehicles. Whether it’s in the form of gasoline or electric power, unattended payment systems for these types of businesses are almost always found in outdoor environments. The same is true of pay-to-use equipment such as outdoor tire inflators and unattended vacuum systems. Therefore, payment terminals that are installed in these businesses must be able to withstand all types of weather conditions and perform as expected.
Parking Lots and Garages – Paying for parking has evolved far beyond coin-fed meters. Now, most parking lots and garages manage payments using convenient payment terminals that can accept credit cards, debit cards, and other payment methods including digital wallets. Unattended payment stations for parking applications can allow customers to come and go at all hours. Plus, these payment terminals reduce overhead by eliminating the need for staff to handle payments.
Self-Serve Car Washes – The salt and sand that is spread over the roads during the winter helps us get around safely, but it can build up fast on vehicles. Self-serve car washes need to operate 365 days a year, and the freezing cold, constantly-damp surroundings mean that the car wash payment terminals need to be completely waterproof and extremely durable. Otherwise, operations can grind to a halt when there is a problem with payment processing systems.
Ticketing Terminals – Self-serve ticketing has seen substantial growth in recent years as businesses look to increase convenience and accessibility to customers. Public transit stations and movie theaters are just two examples of applications where unattended terminals can add a great deal of value and efficiency for customers. Shorter lines, faster checkout, and 24/7 availability are all key advantages of unattended outdoor payment systems for ticketing applications.
Food, Beverage, and Consumer Packaged Goods Vending – Unattended vending machines carry a much more diverse array of products than ever before. These types of self-serve machines used to primarily focus on snack foods and beverages. These days vending machines serve up everything from everyday consumables like batteries and facial tissues, to high-value items like premium electronics and even solid-gold bars. As the variety of products available through vending machines has increased, so has the demand for them to be located in a more diverse range of outdoor locations.
Clearly, the business cases for outdoor payments are varied. However, the need for such unattended payment systems to be rugged, durable, and able to function under the worst conditions is constant among them all. What does it take to weatherize a payment terminal so it is suitable for use in all-season outdoor situations?