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Sep 30, 2022

Getting current with consumers: What’s Next.

Getting current with consumers: What’s Next.

Right now in the car wash industry there are still a large percentage of car wash operators that haven't implemented credit card payment acceptance capability. It's actually a really large gap when you consider how retailers in virtually every other industry transact business. 

Many operators simply don't feel they need to the gap. Many would rather only deal with coins and cash. While there are lots of options available for adding credit cards, many times it involves having to fully renovate a location, knock out concrete, hire electricians, install new heavy and complicated equipment, and more. Plus, all of that can be very expensive, depending on how much work needs to be done on the wash.

But the fact is fewer and fewer consumers are carrying cash.

  • 30% of all consumers make NO purchases using cash during a week
  • 34% of all adults under 50 use NO cash for purchases on a weekly basis
  • 41% of individuals with $75K + income use NO cash weekly

Meanwhile, many wash owners keep thinking they can wait until the next technology and avoid some of the pain. Just wait for the next breakthrough!

Many operators are asking specifically for EMV or tap readers, which are hard to find readers that will stand up to the elements of the unattended wash location, be it self-serve, auto, vacuum, or pet wash. Currently in the payment industry, credit card companies such as Visa and Mastercard are inching towards removing the magstripe on credit cards, meaning they will only be tap or chip. "The legacy magnetic stripe data (MSD) contactless will be retired as per card scheme mandates".

WashCard is one of the few retrofit options for credit cards available right now that allows operators to keep their current equipment, but add on less expensive boxes that accept credit and loyalty cards, and now mobile payments. So, there are many different options available, but the "one company fits all" is a tough find. Some companies may have new bay boxes or auto cashiers, but don't have an app. Or they have an app, but don't have a way to also take physical cards.

WashCard does provide many solutions for operators that allow them to retrofit older equipment with credit cards, as well as add an app to one or many of their locations.

UWashApp is being used for self-serve bays, vacuums, pet washes, automatics, detail centers, and tunnels. Our new 2.0 version offers the ability to add Business Accounts, UWash Rewards (buy 10 get 1 wash free), anniversary rewards, free vacuums after a wash, free wash with registration, house accounts, and lots more to come in the future.

We are constantly listening to our customers and seeing what they want and need to be successful. Current customers on the app are seeing new customers at their location – between 20 and 35 new customers each month, as well as added revenue because of the additional customers.

Wash operators are also able to resolve customer service issues right from the app. So, if a customer calls saying something isn't working, an operator can tell them to go to the next bay and turn on the equipment for the customer and not have them get angry and break their equipment.

The advantages of moving away from cash and even card readers to more use of mobile payments are definitely important to consider, and these advantages impact a car wash operation and can improve accessibility, sales, customer service and profitability.