David Stenning, MD at Embed Playsafe, shares his thoughts on the cash-vs-cashless debate.
Is theUKmarket truly ready for cashless debit-card systems? That is the question which is becoming asked more and more. The answer is: yes, the customer is ready, but maybe not the operators just yet, although if you had been inOrlandoat the IAAPA show in November you may have thought otherwise.
We have always known that the introduction of cashless systems will take time for both customers and operators to accept. But once people understand the significant benefits of this type of system , market forces will start to take over. Customers like the fact they get a better deal with this, and operators will soon realise there is a great deal they can use this type of system for to improve their revenue as well as reduce their operating costs.
Cashless payment has enabled flexibility on pricing not possible through coin operation. Player tracking has enabled the concept of rewarding specific customers for the money they spend and also gaining a much better understanding of who the customers are and what they like and dislike.
The customer’s experience is greatly improved by the operator’s ability to offer their guests purchase and play value in ways that are not possible with tokens or coins. This can also be applied to other attractions such as bowling, rides, and laser tag, as well as food and beverages.
The industry should consider the needs of the customer and what they want, not what we think they want. We are a service industry, we are in retail, we are in entertainment and most of all we need to provide value for money to our customers. We are meant to be an innovative industry and innovation is about change, so change is what we should be embracing. A free cup of coffee and a biscuit will not be enough to retain customers going forward; they are expecting more.
Embed Playsafe provides systems that will allow new ways of operating and give the ability to reward customers for their loyalty and custom. Loyalty rewards, player tracking, redemption rewards, and cashless play are all parts of the new offering we can give to our customers and the way we should be moving.
A good level of service and quality surroundings are what the playing public expects and should be getting. For operators there is a much better marketing opportunity, flexible pricing to attract more play, and the benefit of more happy customers.