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Cash – Consumer Support of ATMs Continues

ATM_2

New technologies are being introduced to banking every day, but the fact remains that customers still like ATMS.

According to information from the U.S. Federal Reserve (2015), some 75 percent of Americans use ATMs for their day-to-day financial tasks. This was an increase since 2012 when 74 percent reported doing the same, and the upward trend continues in all aspects of ATM use. In a 2015 study carried out by Retail Banking Research in 2014, the US had more than 430,000 ATMs, spread across more than 100,000 branches of banks. The ATMs dispensed $691 billion to customers through 5.6 billion transactions.

The total sums withdrawn from ATMs increased by $25 billion between 2013 and 2014 – or 4 percent. Globally, there are about 3 million ATMs in use around the world, according to the San Antonio Business Journal. African, Asian and Middle Eastern countries have seen massive increases in the number of machines thanks to demand.

So, why the demand? We have our own theories. The ATM is an easy to use tool and allows you access to many banking services – cash withdrawal, seeing your balance, paying in money and even donations to charities these days. They can be used 24 hours a day, every day of the year.

We also believe that people like the physical aspect of money. It’s easier to spend more when you’re using a card to pay. Handing over lots of bills will make you stop and think – is my purchase really necessary? The ATM has a lot of life left in it yet.

The Future of Travel Payments in the US

Travel_US

Technology has altered the way travellers interact with travel providers. There’s been a move away from the one-off, desktop driven conversation at the time of booking towards interaction that goes on before, during and after the vacation.

This presents an opportunity for travel providers. They can increase their share of a customer’s vacation budget, thanks to the access modern-day travellers have to relevant information through their cells, tablets and wearables.

A one-click payment solution can provide a seamless payment experience. Travel companies should also think about storing their customers’ payment details as part of that traveller’s user profile. This means your budding vacationer has no need to enter his or her information every time – and they can happily book additional trips or upgrades as they holiday.

Itineraries can change quickly on trips, which can make things complicated as travellers request refunds or cancellations. Travel companies need to manage this and have a clear process in place for changes.

Because so many people are booking via their cell phone or tablet, websites need to be responsive. Hosted payment pages and client-side encryption are other necessities. Travel providers should evolve, and ensure they offer a reliable, omnichannel payment solution for today’s intrepid travellers.

 

 

Laundromats: Simplifying The Lives of Millions

Laundry

Laundromats have a well-established history. They sprang to prominence in the 1940s, modernizing and simplifying the lives of millions with the washing solutions they provided. Today, the industry provides almost 40,000 people with a job and is worth $3 billion a year.

Washing machines and what people look for from their laundromat may have changed over the years, but the goal is still the same—efficient washing solutions that are easy to use and make it worthwhile for someone to outsource their laundry.

Coin mechanisms and card vending need to work well to keep the laundromat’s business running smoothly. Laundromats in the US typically use the Asahi-Seiko CD-200s and CD-1000’s to manage payments and issue reusable cards, useful for private and campus laundromats, and we have provided these solutions for many years.

We offer a number of state-of-the-art vending solutions for laundromats, including coin hoppers, compact hoppers and smart card readers. Please contact us on 1(800) 859-5353 or sales@asusainc.com to find out more.

New Ways of Vending Media

Apps

Many companies have started to use new forms of vending their media. The change is in response to the rise in mobile apps and cell phones that can scan QR codes. It makes life much easier for the customer and the business.

One popular new method is smart card dispensers that vend experience cards with a QR code, or something similar that a customer can scan directly. The customer can encase the card machine in a visually appealing display or kiosk—a fantastic market concept that increases footfall and visibility of the display.

At the touch of a screen, new media can be dispensed to customers for longer-term use. This kind of fire and forget way for companies to give media to their clients needs minimal upkeep or human interference. In short, it saves time and money.

Are arcades still a viable business?

Arcade

The first popular “arcade games” included early games such as shooting galleries, ball-toss games, and the earliest coin-operated machines, such as those that claimed to tell a person’s fortune or that played mechanical music.

In the 1930s the first coin-operated pinball machines emerged. These early amusement machines differed from their later electronic cousins in that they were made of wood. They lacked plungers or lit-up bonus surfaces on the playing field, and used mechanical instead of electronic scoring-readouts. By around 1977 most pinball machines in production switched to using solid-state electronics both for operation and for scoring.

These days though, coin-operated games are far more intelligent as the industry sees a resurgence in arcade amusements popularity.

The question is…. are arcades still a viable business?

The answer: Yes, but they need to adapt to modern times. It’s no longer enough to rely purely on nostalgia.

For many successful arcades, it’s finding a perfect balancing act between old technology and modern business models.

What are your thoughts? Are amusement arcades a dying trend?

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The smart card technology transition

SmartCards

Smart card technology is replacing the magnetic strip. Why? The main reason for this is that smart cards are extremely secure and are used worldwide in applications where the security and privacy of information are critical requirements. They also hold more data – and we all need more of that, right!

 

Smart cards, called so because they contain a chip, have long been touted as a safer alternative to the old-fashioned magnetic stripe-bearing cards.

We understand that this type of technology will be mainstream in the future, but the transition isn’t sudden. The costs involved in switching are high. Thankfully though, we offer smart card reader capability to our magnetic MCH units <http://www.asahiseikousa.com/product_info.php/cPath/1/products_id/20> .

Specifically designed for simple integration into a host machine; this product forms the total card handling solution for any system where cards are processed, giving you the perfect hybrid unit (while the inevitable smart card transition is happening).

If you’d like to know more about making the transition to smart card technology, give us a call on  1(800) 859-5353

Did you know:
Magnetic strips have been around since the ’60s and they actually use the same technology as cassette tapes.

Why Cash is still King

Cash

Cash remains the most popular form of payment, with 57% of people preferring to use notes and coins to cards, according to research.

The importance of cash is often overlooked, but it plays a crucial role in the short-term financial planning for many people.

Consumers are likely to spend less when they hand over cold hard cash versus swiping plastic, since cash feels more like real money. When you have tangible money in your hand and you can physically feel it depleting each time you spend, you are much more likely to notice how much you are spending and be more careful about it.

There are also many drawbacks of regularly using credit and debit cards. Ultimately, they encourage you to spend more than you intended to. Yes…. we’ve all done it! But with cash, spending requires a physical action – actually going to an ATM (and viewing your depleting account balance) prior to entering the store to make your purchase. Oh, the guilt!

Cash has one very clear advantage over using a credit card: If you buy something on your credit card, chances are you’re only making the minimum payment each month. It might take years for you to pay off the balance for a single purchase.

When you swipe plastic, retailers often ask for additional information such as your post code and email address so they can bombard you with offers and news later. Annoying isn’t it! But with cash, you are less likely to receive hundreds of email marketing and when retailers don’t have your email or mailing address, that information can’t be stolen in a data breach.

Cash is certainly KING!

Time is a consumers most important currency

self_service

Self-service payments have experienced a huge surge in popularity over the past few years, with self-service technology having transformed entire industries overnight. Businesses are using self-service technology to operate more productively and to better serve their customers.

Time is a consumers most important currency – and they don’t want to waste minutes, or even hours, standing in queues (we’ve all been there). The quicker and more flexible businesses can make consumer interactions, the more likely they are to strengthen customer relationships.

Perhaps the biggest advantage with self-service technology is the added speed with which customers can pay for their purchases – Reducing the length of queues and waiting times, and increasing the frequency of return visits.

Vending machines, ticket purchasing, pay-at-pump petrol, checkout kiosks, parking; self-service payments are a versatile solution for many different applications and sectors, but as consumers become more tech-savvy they will ultimately expect more choice……. where do you think the self-service payments sector is heading next?

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Smart Tokens – the smart choice?

Tokens

Smart cards are a normal part of daily life for us all, but what about smart tokens? You know, those little round ‘thingys’ that everyone keeps talking about….

A security/smart token (sometimes called an authentication token) is a small hardware device that the owner carries to authorise access to a network service. The device may be in the form of a smart card or may be embedded in a commonly used object such as a key fob.

Smart tokens often require a password in order to function. This provides the token some certainty that the person using it is the person who is supposed to be using it!

But… this isn’t always necessary – for some applications, entering a password each time the token is used is more trouble than it’s worth. In general, if a person can use the token to spend money or access sensitive data, it will have a password. The user enters the password on his keyboard, or directly into the token via a keypad. Even if the computer has been hacked to record passwords, that won’t allow anyone to break the system; they still have to get possession of the smart token! Clever huh?!

In theory, smart tokens offer the same technology as smart cards, but presented in a different form with some level of increased security. We have the solutions to dispense these tokens, encode them, and we can even manufacture and supply the tokens themselves.

They can also be manufactured with Mifare technology – The leading brand of contactless IC products!

Contact us today to discuss your coin and card handling requirements 1(800) 859-5353 sales@asusainc.com

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