Finding new ways your car wash business can improve the customer experience is a key component for business growth and longevity. Making sure you are offering products and services that customers value and desire as well as offering this to them in a way that suits their shopping behaviours, is something that businesses must get right.
A new trend and desire amongst the buying public is that of contactless payments.
Contactless payments offer both customers and business a wealth of benefits. From cafes, to bus operators, to car wash services, businesses of any shape or size can embrace this new technology to help exceed customer expectations.
Benefits of Accepting Contactless Payments
There are a variety of benefits of accepting contactless payments, including:
- Fast and Convenient
Contactless payments are the quickest option for payment. Chip and pin is quick, but contactless payments mean customers can pay within a couple of seconds. In busy car washes, every second counts, and offering speedy payment options can help manage queues and prevent customers having to wait too long.
Any technology that saves time (for either the customer or the business, or in the case of contactless payments, both!), should be embraced wholeheartedly.
The operational benefit of fast customer payments can be monumental for car washes that need to mitigate busy periods. Long queues will negatively impact the customer experience so having processes and systems that help reduce the likelihood of queuing is a great addition to a car wash business.
Contactless payments are as secure as chip and pin, using the same processing networks. These contactless payments use encryption and advanced technology to ensure customer data is protected and safe during checkout.
It also reduces security issues due to human error, such as leaving the card in the payment processing device when you leave.
Due to the payment limit on contactless checkouts, customers can shop confidently, knowing their details are safe.
The reduction of cash also means there is reduced risk to businesses of lost/stolen cash. All payments are electronic and car wash services aren’t handling large amounts of cash. All card transactions have a clear audit trail, so businesses, accountants and auditors can see clearly what money is coming into the business. This makes a lot of the administrative side of running a business much easier.
- Reduce Costs, Improve Profits
Using contactless payments at kiosks can dramatically reduce costs associated with car wash businesses. The amount of staff can be reduced, and the time required to handle and sort out cash is massively reduced.
This means the business becomes more efficient and productive.
Paying by card should always be encouraged by businesses, as research has indicated customers usually spend more on card than when paying with cash. This means once a customer is at the car wash, potential upsells and cross-sells can be presented that can boost the final order value.
- Reduction in Payment Barriers
By reducing potential barriers during a checkout, businesses can help limit abandoned sales. If car wash services make the payment process so long and tedious, customers may be put off and attracted to a competitor that offers a painless buying experience.
If customers have a great experience whereby there were no barriers to acquiring the product or service, then they are much more likely to come back. For car wash businesses, building a loyal customer base that come back time and time again is a key ingredient to long-term success.
This reduction in payment barriers also helps increase impulse purchases. This means having good offers and promotions means it can be much easier to convert first time customers.
- Consumer Expectance of Technology
Contactless payments have been available for several years now and the public’s expectance of this technology means businesses need to embrace it and offer it.
It is no longer a quirky feature in a select few businesses, but rather a technology that customers are starting to expect.
This expectation means business of all sizes should certainly think carefully about the need to adopt this new technology.
- Apple/Android Pay Integration
It’s not just bank cards that offer contactless payments, customers often enjoy paying directly with their phones. Being able to tap your phone against a payment device means customers have all their shopping receipts and orders directly in their phone. It’s simple, fast and what many younger shoppers prefer.
The ability to take payments via apps, such as Apple or Google Pay, also means car washes can integrate offers such as loyalty awards and discounts seamlessly into orders.
Contactless Payments at Self-Service Kiosks
Contactless payments can be incorporated into both traditional service counters (i.e. being operated by a member of staff), as well as into self service machines and kiosks.
By using kiosks and self-service machines, car washes can deliver an extremely efficient service. Customers can buy a service quickly and conveniently and enjoy a seamless buying experience. This also translates to big savings for your car wash business as staff and unnecessary admin can be reduced, and often, the car wash can operate 24-hours a day, with little or no staff on duty.
Example Models of Contactless Payments at Car Wash Services
Take a look at some of our car wash models that is available to customers with little or no staff supervision.
Self-Service Car Wash
This is ideal for businesses looking to offer an efficient 24-hour service as customers can pay by card and wash their vehicle themselves. There are no damage claims as the customer is carrying out all the work, and the equipment requires significantly less maintenance than other types of washes.
In-Bay Automatic Car Wash
Our In-Bay Automatic car wash model provides a quick and professional wash for customers, and can be operated 24-hours a day. Customers make their wash purchase at an unattended terminal, before driving into the wash bay, where the car wash then moves back and forth or around the vehicle to clean and dry it. Due to their smaller footprint, these machines are less expensive to build.
Express Exterior Car Wash
In this model, the customer pulls up to an unattended terminal and purchases their wash selection, as well as any extra services, such as tire shine or wheel cleaning. An attendant then guides the customer onto the conveyor, where they then ride through tunnel before exiting the wash. This wash only takes three to five minutes, and the customer can then vacuum and wash their windows afterwards.
Get Started with PSD Codax
To get started with contactless payments and to introduce a more productive car wash operation, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us here at PSD Codax. Our expert team can help ensure you get the guidance you need to see tangible improvements in your car wash business.
Our AUTO SENTRY® PETRO kiosk is the perfect product for those looking to leverage contactless payments within their offerings. All our products can be integrated together, meaning you can install a self-service kiosk with contactless payment, that can also accept loyalty cards, manage fleet orders, apps, car recognition stations, digital billboards, to name just a few.
Our development centre is focused on adapting new technologies to keep ahead of the market and bring new ways for operators to improve the flexibility, security and profitability of how they sell carwash and valet services.