Car Wash Payment Systems
In the old days, coin-op car wash payment systems were king. Owners loved the convenience of cash and more people carried change in their cars. That’s not the case anymore. Everything is moving toward credit card and contactless payment systems.
Customers prefer these systems over hunting for change and they could be more profitable to your business overall. Here’s why the more modern payment systems like Washify are far better than older coin-op systems.
More Ways to Pay for a Car Wash
Let’s start with the obvious. Customers want to pay for things in their preferred way, and according to one cash usage analysis cash is dropping out of favor. Over a quarter of the country hardly uses cash anymore. What are they using instead?
- Credit cards
- Mobile payments (tap-and-go)
We encourage you to investigate monthly subscription models. This gives customers a way to get a car wash anytime they like and it saves them time. If you have multiple locations, it also gives them more choices to take their vehicle for cleaning.
There’s no question these payment methods are faster, more secure, and more preferred by customers than using coins. This doesn’t mean you have to rip out all your coin-op boxes right away, but you will lose market share if your POS doesn’t allow customers to use these newer options to pay for a wash.
Greater Security for Car Wash Payments
Coin-op systems are far less secure than digital systems, especially if you have change machines on site. Someone must also empty these machines daily to deter thieves and keep your income safe. That’s extra labor for you and your team.
Digital payment methods cut all this out. Yes, someone may use a fraudulent credit card to buy a wash, but that’s just one transaction. The worst-case scenario with credit cards is if someone installs a skimmer to steal payment information.
As more people get smartphones and modern chip cards, even these worries will become obsolete. These are the most secure payment methods humans have made so far, far more secure than leaving a pile of money at your business at all hours.
Gathering Purchase Preferences
At best, coin-op systems will give you a count of how many times a customer selected a type of wash. Tracking these over time requires a worker checking the numbers and doing the math to get purchase data.
Modern car wash payment systems let you get real-time purchase data broken down by service, time, and many other factors. This data is crucial to find out things like:
- Which services are actually popular?
- When is your car wash busy or dead, by day, month, and season?
- Which specials might be more attractive to customers, and which ones worked in the past?
If you combine this with a license plate scanning system for subscribers, you could also start collecting data on car models. If trucks are very popular at your car wash, you could make investments to offer service options catered to them.
The last must-have feature that modern systems bring to the table is better repair notifications. A modern car wash payment system does more than simply take money for you. It can also notify you when there are problems with your payment kiosks.
Depending on the system, you can also tie it into your car wash equipment to learn when a brush is malfunctioning or if a chemical runs low. You and your staff can respond to problems more quickly and retain more revenue with this feature.
Things to Consider When Choosing Your Car Wash Payment System
If you’re a coin-op business, or you were leaning toward that option, you now know why more modern systems are better. But which vendor should you choose? Obviously, we’re biased toward our software solution, so here are some general things to look for:
- Does it support all the features we just mentioned?
- Is it compatible with your current car wash equipment?
- Is there a good place to put the payment kiosks, or will you need to reroute traffic flow to make it work?
- Will you still need a coin-op or cash-purchase option because of your business location or demographics?
- Can you afford the new system plus changing anything we just mentioned?
- How soon will the system pay for itself based on what you know?
Upgrading your car wash payment system is a matter of if, not when. Customer demand and competition will ensure it. Washify may be what your business needs to modernize. Find out by scheduling a demo with our team.
Request a Consultation or Demo
If you want to learn more about our car wash pay station, don’t hesitate to give us a call – three of our full-time staff own unlimited car washes so we can talk you through all aspects of implementing the Washify system.