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Page 63

By Gunnar Beauregard

CONVENIENCE & CARWASH CANADA 

63

Using Advanced Technology To Optimize Carwash Entry

Entry stations are a critical component in the complete technology package that is used to interact with customers at the carwash. However, as payment technology has continued to evolve the user’s hands-on interaction with the entry station has been lessened, which can be a benefit for both the driver and the wash operator. Today, the first interaction of more and more users with the carwash is not even occurring at the actual wash site, but online. For example, Web-based loyalty systems such as the Wash Account Loyalty System (WALS) from PDQ Manufacturing, Green Bay, WI, and WebCode/Cortex from Montreal, Canada-based Kesseltronics allow customers to purchase individual washes, gift cards and wash subscriptions online, while also offering the ability to access receipts and usage information. To maximize the benefits of online purchasing, it is fundamental that the entry stations deliver a perfect customer experience by seamlessly integrating with the products that have been sold online. The ability to accept, upgrade and reload wash products that have been purchased via the Internet is also a key element in providing a satisfying, no-stress customer washing experience. Knowing that online purchasing will be a staple in wash operation going forward, nextgeneration entry stations have been configured to recognize that an online purchase has been made and then reliably walk the driver

through the entire entry process. The entry process has been made even more efficient through the recognition of mobile-payment apps that utilize near-field communication (NFC) technology that is linked to the user’s credit card through an embedded NFC chip. For those wash customers that are members of the operator’s wash-loyalty program, entry may now be as simple as swiping a card or entering a PIN number. These loyalty programs also allow the customer to take advantage of any specials that the operator may be offering, things like a price discount for a number of washes that are purchased in bulk, a free wash on the customer’s birthday, or money-saving coupons that are offered by a co-branded business partner in the area. This increase in entry-station sophistication means that the customer now expects to be able to pay for washes using current online or on-site payment technology. In Canada, this demands that tellers must be able to accept the new “chip and pin” EMV transactions for credit cards and Interac, which is an interbank association that links

FOR THOSE WASH CUSTOMERS THAT ARE MEMBERS OF THE OPERATOR’S WASH-LOYALTY PROGRAM, ENTRY MAY NOW BE AS SIMPLE AS SWIPING A CARD OR ENTERING A PIN NUMBER. THESE

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Convenience & Carwash Canada_mar apr 2016  

trade publication, carwash and convenience stores

Convenience & Carwash Canada_mar apr 2016  

trade publication, carwash and convenience stores

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