The Future Is Both Here and Not-Yet.
by Ryan Carlson
Here is a really interesting article entitled, "Use of Mobile Tap and Pay Will Double in the Next Year, But Mainstream Adoption is Far Off"
For those that are interested in following new technology this is an interesting read - As a highly-connected early-adopter of technology I fit into the first 6% of consumers to try new ways of doing things, especially when technology is involved.
The article explains all of the bleeding-edge trials of putting Tap-To-Pay into stores, and a big focus on the "mobile wallet", this is where you turn your cellphone into your digital wallet. You wave your phone by a sensor and then tap in a security code through a special application running on your phone and it will transmit the accountinforation of your choice.
"On the Rise": The part of the article that facinates me as a cashless provider is that I think it's spot-on about where we are with adoption of a tap to pay technology and mobile wallets. We are currently in the "On the Rise" part of a technology adoption bell curve with mobile payments. This is where you have a small vocal group of early adopters trying things followed by 5-10 years of normal people slowly learning about the technology and over time adopting it. This is called a Gartner Curve, it has been spot on across industries and technology application.
What does this mean for you as a car wash operator or laundromat operator?
Our industries cater to a different type of customer and our average dollar per ticket and our "new technology budget" is not what other industries like fast-food, grocery, and petroleum have. Your customers fall into the "very average customer" - although those of you with Full Service Car Wash locations that cater to the BMW-crowd might want to start an inquire with your merchant provider about getting a tap-to-pay reader for your point-of-sale cash register, your business model caters to an entirely different starbucks crowd. Whereas laundromats and self-service car washes are still dealing with the gas-station cappicino-machine crowd (you know, the one that mixes the powder and the hot water into the styrofoam cup as you hold down the button?)
WashCard is watching this mobile payment space very closely and our Engineering Staff is learning a lot about this future technology - but the honest truth is, we plan to be part of the second-generation solutions (see Gartner Curve above). This means costs have come down for the hardware, platforms have been standardized, and we will have a better road-map of how "regular" consumers are using the technology in the real world, not just what PR companies are saying.