Coin boxes are an essential part of any self-serve car wash bay. In the practical sense, they’re the physical devices that allow your customers to pay, start their washes, and select their services. From a different angle, they’re also a representation of your car wash. Clean coin boxes, properly functioning equipment, neat overlays/decals, and up-to-date payment options are just some of the details that customers pay attention to when forming their opinion of your car wash. As Kleen-Rite Vice President Keith Lutz puts it, “Coin boxes are the main interface with the customer. Clear instructions and pricing are very important. Everything should be easily spelled out. Having clean, working coin boxes that customers can easily operate ensures the best experience.”
Whether you’re a new operator or a car wash veteran, it’s a good idea to review the options you have when it comes to coin boxes. Newcomers can learn about the go-to coin boxes and decide what to put in their new wash. Experienced owners can replace old boxes or find out about upgrade options.
Long hull styles hold the coins inside the actual coin box. Short hull styles send the coins to a safe/vault that is separate from the box. Deluxe models have cutouts for regular padlocks while High Security boxes use plug locks. For any coin box equipped with a bill validator, it should be noted that the bills stay in the coin box until emptied. They cannot be sent to a separate vault.
Allowing customers to pay in any form -coin, paper, card- guarantees that a customer will never leave your lot because they don’t have a usable form of payment. One of the biggest concerns about credit cards, or CryptoPay, is the fee associated with each transaction. While that is something to consider, customer volume and spending behavior more than make up for those costs. Lutz has seen this in action, stating, “Generally, bays where you can use credit cards have higher ticket averages than bays that do not take CryptoPay.” When customers don’t need to count cash or have exact change, they’re more likely to increase their spending.
Kleen-Rite prefers using rotary switches as the service selection mechanism on coin boxes. Gary Frey, Kleen-Rite’s National Sales Manager, wants customers to know that “Rotary switches are a less expensive option versus touchpads. Rotary switches eventually wear out, but they’re virtually maintenance-free until that time comes, and they’re relatively inexpensive to replace.”
Lutz notes that Kleen-Rite has a “keep-it-simple philosophy” when it comes to coin boxes. He adds, “Kleen-Rite sells the industry-leading validator, the industry-leading rotary switch, and other top components.” In other words, Kleen-Rite focuses on selling customers the coin boxes and coin box parts that are proven and effective. This is one area of car wash equipment where it’s less about customization and more about learning what works, placing your trust in it, maintaining it, and adding to it when necessary.
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