Car Wash Cashless Payment and CryptoTap Plus

Anybody who keeps up with the latest activity in the car wash industry knows that cashless payment has been a frequently discussed – and debated – issue in the last few years, and the conversation continues to grow. Like any hot button issue, there are certainly two sides to the conversation and business owners have to educate themselves, weigh the pros and cons, and ultimately decide how cashless payment fits into their operations. The reality is, however you feel about cashless payment, trends show that consumers are indeed adopting it more and more as a means of conducting transactions. A significant portion of consumers are even completely making the switch and foregoing cash payment entirely.

Again, we understand there are varying opinions on this topic, but we seek to help our customers who have decided it’s important to serve cashless customers and need a reliable, trusted means to process those payments. CryptoPay already had their CryptoTap units to handle tap and pay, but are now advancing the technology with their new CryptoTap Plus. If you are making the move to cashless, we highly recommend these new readers for coin boxes, vacuums, and vending machines.

Statistics About Cashless Payment Options

We touched on this topic in another post discussing credit card use for vending. In that post, we pointed out a 2023 Forbes survey in which only 9% of respondents said they typically pay with cash or check. Similarly, a 2022 Pew Research Center study found that only 14% of the people they surveyed used cash for “all or almost all” of their purchases in an average week. Even more interesting, and the number that might surprise some of you, is that a significant 41% of people surveyed did not use cash for any of their purchases in an average week.

customer using cashless payment at a car wash vacuum

Economic Demographics

So, how does this differ by demographic? The Pew study highlighted that cash use is strikingly different between low and high-income respondents. Only 24% of those with a yearly household income less than $30K responded that “none of their purchases” in a typical week were cash. On the other side, a sizable 59% of those with a yearly household income of $100K+ responded that they didn’t use cash for any of their typical weekly expenses. Logically, you can assume that cashless payment options will attract those with higher incomes who are likely to have higher ticket prices. Of course, if you ONLY have cashless payment, you’re at a higher risk of snubbing lower-income patrons who want to use cash and will leave your business if they can’t.

Age Demographics

Like anything that involves technology, the statistics differ sharply by age. Another question in the Pew study had two options about carrying cash. For ages 18-49, 45% of respondents “try to make sure they always have cash on hand, just in case they need it,” while 54% “don’t really worry about whether they have cash with them.” For the 50+ crowd, those numbers shift to 71% who keep cash on hand and only 28% who aren’t concerned with having cash.

It’s crucial to keep those economic and age nuances in mind and closely examine how they relate to your main demographic.

Spending Behavior with Cashless Payment

Some other statistics we pointed out in our previous Kleen-Scene article involve consumers tendency to spend more when using a credit card. A Dun & Bradstreet study noted that people spend up to 18% more when using a credit card over cash. McDonald’s even recognized that tickets paid by credit card were, on average, $2.50 higher than cash tickets.

Cashless payment is certainly not a no-brainer decision for everybody. With added fees, privacy concerns, and the need to purchase new equipment, there are things to consider before diving in headfirst. Still, it seems clear that cashless payment is not going away and you should think about adding it to your car wash if you don’t have it already. That’s where CryptoTap Plus comes in!

What is CryptoTap Plus and How is It Different from CryptoTap?

CryptoTap Plus is the next evolution of car wash cashless payment acceptance from CryptoPay. CryptoTap Plus readers are standalone units that accept various tap to pay methods like contactless credit and debit cards, Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Google Pay, and more! Unlike regular CryptoTap units, CryptoTap Plus devices do NOT require a swiper for operation. That means less equipment to install and monitor, plus the unit itself has a smaller footprint than the regular version.

three cashless payment units, including cryptotap plus, cryptotap, and cryptopay swiper

The CryptoTap Plus design is simple but effective, with a tap and pay symbol front and center so customers know the unit is for cashless payment. It boasts an attractive LED display with high-resolution colors on the edges. It’s a full EMV reader and also includes a QR code and barcode scanner. The CryptoTap Plus comes in a version for coin boxes and vacuums, which includes an external button that has a red light for count up mode and green light for count down mode. Also available are an MDB version for Laurel drop-shelf vendors, and a Level 2 MDB version for spiral and glass front vending machines (includes an MTB splitter cable).

CryptoTap Plus at Glen Burnie Car Wash

Glen Burnie Car Wash is the first wash to install CryptoTap Plus in their self-serve bays and on their vacuums. When owner Fred Calihan heard about the new technology from CryptoPay at a car wash show, he immediately knew he wanted it for his wash. They purchased 48 units and already have them installed and operating!

The Kleen-Scene visited Glen Burnie to see the CryptoTap Plus in action. We were able to chat with Nick Dixon, who does maintenance at the Maryland-based car wash. He’s been at Glen Burnie Car Wash for 8 years and has worked in the industry for over 20. He was a big part of the installation of the CryptoTap Plus units, and he graciously answered some questions about the new additions and offering cashless payment options at the car wash.

Q: Why do you think now is the right time for making the investment in cashless?

A: I don’t think we’ll be entirely cashless. As technology improves and moves forward, you’ll still have cash and quarters, but the majority of it now is people using Google Pay and Apple Pay. You can use your phone right on [our coin boxes] now, so it’s a good update. I think we’ll have cash into the near future, but this is obviously moving pretty fast. Everywhere you go, everybody’s got it. If you go into Wal-Mart or Target or whatever, you can use your phone, you can use your card, whatever.

Q: Do you feel like Glen Burnie Car Wash is generally on top of things with technology? Do you jump on stuff early, or is this out-of-character?

We jump on it, especially the owners just trying to keep up to date. And you want to keep up to date with your customers also, because you want to have the service the customers are into at the current time. So, with everybody using tech more these days, the owners just jumped right on [the CryptoTap Plus]. They just pulled the trigger with it and said ‘Put it on everything, Nick.’

Q: Was the installation of the CryptoTap Plus difficult? How did that go for you guys?

A: It’s pretty easy… just find a place to drill your holes, mount it on there, plug it into the power supply and run it through the looms. It takes probably 30 minutes on each one. If anybody knows the CryptoPay stuff, they send a template with every credit card or tap thing. Just cut out your holes, Sharpie it, and drill it wherever you want it.

Q: How are the CryptoTap Plus units working so far?

A: Working great! The tap is actually pretty quick. Everything is wireless, and there’s usually a delay with wireless, but it’s pretty quick.

Q: Does it feel like people started using them pretty quickly, or are there stumbling blocks?

Kinda sorta. A few weeks ago, I did all the vacuums and then did the bays. With your regular customers, they’re so used to things they don’t always look for the new stuff. It might take them a week or something to figure out ‘Wait a minute, what’s different about this? Oh, they have a tap thingy on here.’

Q: Does it feel like people recognize it, with the tap symbol and everything?

Yeah, they’re starting to. They know what the tap feature and all that stuff is. It’s just a visual thing. Like I said, especially with the regular customers that come every week, they probably just look over it because they’re here all the time.

Thanks to Nick and the Glen Burnie team!

Is now the time to make the switch to completely cashless payment at your car wash? Would it be a better option for your business to offer both cash and cashless to customers, despite it being slightly more complicated? Unless you are very skeptical of the legitimacy of the surveys and trends around this topic, there’s a good chance you’re going to adopt the technology in some form in the near future. It might be smart to get ahead of the curve and set yourself up for success before the market forces your hand. CryptoTap Plus is an excellent way to do so.

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