A Long Way From a Pocketful of Quarters.

Biometrics. Scan-and-through payments. Wearables. Oh my!

Staying competitive in the car wash space has more to do with new soaps, a new coat of paint, or an updated logo. The way people can pay has a huge impact on the overall experience of your wash and how your potential best customer can perceive it. 

Up and Coming Payment Methods for Car Washes

I was just cruising around the web looking for new payment trend information and – holy cow – it’s hard to believe what’s out there right now in terms of ‘what’s coming”.

In the car wash industry, once dominated by quarters, tokens, and change machines, it’s remarkable to be thinking about the possibility of things like wearable technology payment options! Who knew?

One great summary of technology from digipay.guru cited that, “Contactless payments have become one of the most in-demand payment methods among customers. The latest study predicts that by 2027, almost 99% of smartphones will have contactless payment capabilities.” 

This summary goes on to quickly give brief insights into seven – that’s right SEVEN – contactless payment technologies that will be impacting consumers in the years ahead. They are:

  • Tap-to-Pay – one of the most convenient and easy-to-use contactless payments
  • Embedded Payments – integration into apps, websites, vehicles, and devices
  • Digital Payments – wallets like Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay 
  • Scan & Through – three-step transaction to speed up retail transactions
  • Biometric Payments – user’s physical features are used for biometric authentication
  • Contactless wearables like smartwatches
  • Voice-Based Payments – virtual assistants like Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant

Declining Cash & Personalized Experiences

According to Forbes, “the Federal Reserve’s latest Diary of Consumer Payment Choice revealed that cash was used for 18% of all payments in 2022”. Cash isn’t looking to be growing anytime in 2024 either as consumers are growing to expect and opt for more efficient and convenient digital payment alternatives

Within digital payment processing solutions, car wash operators can also begin to understand their consumers’ behavior. This can help provide personalized offers and recommendations. Data-driven approaches help enhance your customers’ experience at the wash, as well as provide you with a boost in the ROI of your marketing efforts. 

Why Are Payments Important?

Getting into tap-to-pay and app-based payment options (like the Washcard UWashApp) gets you into the ball game where you can take advantage of the fastest-growing opportunities.

If you are not taking tap or app payments, consumers are either driving past your wash, or, what may be worse, trying you once and never coming back because they may think it’s ‘too hard to make the purchase.’ 

It’s that simple.

Without a competitive shakeup in your neighborhood (like a competitor closing) almost all your new business can come from accepting new forms of payment. That’s where the opportunities are. 

You can have a tap-to-pay solution in your self-service and in-bays in just weeks – much faster than you think. Give us a call at 651-661-9710 to learn more.

Amy Olson
Consumer Marketing
WashCard Systems