Making your Car Wash More Competitive. Part I

It’s easier than you think..

Making your car wash more competitive, getting new customers and building repeat business isn’t rocket science. It’s easier than you might think.

You can get caught up in the trap of believing you have to spend a fortune in advertising to get new customers, compete with a newer, bigger wash down the street, or to simply get your customers washing more often.

Not true! And if you have an unattended wash, this is especially true for you.

Take a look at these recommendations and the facts that support each idea. As a marketing and communications professional, I love to make things look pretty, but at the core of what really matters are the numbers. 

This is the first in a series of blog posts on the fact-based direction you can take in your business.

FACT ONE: Taking Contactless Payments is Critical to Your Long-term Success

Did you know, magstripe cards have been around since the 1960s? If you had to think about how long ago that was, that’s 60 years ago. In today’s world, that is really old technology. Not to say that great things can’t last, but as the world has developed and changed, so too must payments.

What is Contactless? 

Contactless payments include tap-to-pay payments through tap debit and credit cards or mobile, mobile app payments, Google Pay, Apple, Samsung Pay. Now is the time to consider putting these options into your operation. Customers are ready for them and prefer them.

Replacing Technology

Why else are these becoming more important? The big financial institutions that drive payment systems at retail, like Mastercard and Visa, are getting out of swipe…quickly. Mastercard has said publicly they’re no longer producing Magstripe cards after 2025. That means next year.

Fundamental for Small Business

Today, 73% of small business owners believe that accepting digital payments is important, and fundamental, for the growth of their business. As a small business owner, you have the advantage over large chains to adapt to new technology faster. Our customers can have Tap&App installed in their operation in as little two weeks.


Contactless is growing rapidly. Transactions through contactless payment methods are projected to more than quadruple between now and 2027. It’s fast on convenient, and that’s what consumers require. 


One of the fears, for some, surrounding contactless payments is security. But here’s another fun facts – it’s the most secure form of payment you can make in today’s world. From a card aspect, as mentioned earlier, magnetic stripe technology has been around since the 1960’s and makes it pretty easy for hackers and fraudsters to take bank information from the card. However, contactless payments have ever-changing encrypted data making any of the data found from hacking, useless. From a phone aspect, encrypted data is also used, plus there’s the added level of security of having to use either a passcode or biometrics to approve any payment. Payment technology is certainly changing, but so is our security to payments and our identity.  

Catching Up 

The US is behind other economies in the development of contactless payments. In countries like Australia and Canada: over 75% of face-to-face transactions are contactless. Our migration to contactless payments started much later than these countries, and its development has also been much slower. But consumers demand speed and convenience. They leave retailers who are slower and move to providers who are faster and more convenient. The pace to catch up is really picking up.


Come on back and check out our next post to talk about mobile apps and how they can help benefit your business – and help you stay competitive! 


At WashCard Systems, we specialize in serving independent self-serve and in-bay automatic car wash owners and operators. We help you compete against big chain competition, tunnel washes, and other competitors. We’ve been in business for 34 years, pushing the technology envelope in the car wash industry – focusing on payments, mobile apps, loyalty, and marketing. 

Amy Olson
Consumer Marketing Expert
WashCard Systems