Choosing the right mix of payment options can be a challenge to parking operators. Striking the balance between minimising costs and providing consumers with their choice of payment option is a key ingredient to a successful parking operation. Equip the pay station with an array of payment options and you risk confusing the consumer; fail to provide a favourite, and consumers could be unable to complete their transaction.
Take cash for example. Managing cash can be costly for parking operators, but eliminating the option to pay with cash comes with its own set of risks. For many consumers, cash is the preferred - or only available - medium for payment.
Maintaining the ability to accept cash as a form of payment is important to the parking experience. It gives customers the freedom of choice to pay with what they want. So what can be done to minimise the operator’s burden of managing cash - and improve their bottom line?
Banknote recycling, one of the most influential advancements in automated payment systems, provides the answer. Already a regular component in many successful pay stations, a note recycling device combines the functions of a traditional note accept and separate note dispense system. It will accept, account for and store notes to be dispensed as change at a later time. The result is a single closed-loop system that dramatically reduces the amount of float tied up in the machine and increases the amount of time between cash collections and interventions.
Not all note recycling devices are created equally, however, and operators should understand which features will result in an efficient, cost-effective cash management process. The right solution should address the needs of the customer (speed, reliability, ergonomics) as well as the operator (uptime, security, ease of maintenance, total cost of ownership).
In response to these needs, Crane Payment Innovations (CPI) has leveraged its vast product experience to develop the MEI SCR, a two-denomination note recycler in a compact footprint that is ideal for parking applications.
The next advance in note recycling
SCR combines the performance and reliability of SC Advance technology with the benefits of note recycling as part of a total cash management solution. SCR isequipped with the same acceptor head and 600-note cashbox as those used by the winning SC note acceptor platform, of which there are more than 1.5 million units installed globally. Its two 60-note recycling drums utilise the same note storage technology proven from the 4-denomination MEI BNR (Bank Note Recycler), historically delivering a low jam rate of only 1 in 20,000 notes.
Whilst its technology is sophisticated, the way SCR works is quite simple. When customers pay with cash, the most commonly used denominations are loaded onto the recyclers to be dispensed as change later. Meanwhile, the less common (typically higher-value) notes are routed to the cashbox for bank deposit. This allows riders and motorists to pay with larger denominations and receive best change in notes instead of an inconvenient handful of coins. Coin hoppers deplete far less frequently, and the intelligent cash flow extends the time required between cash collection calls - significantly reducing the cost of CIT or in-house cash collection activities.
As the fastest note recycler in the industry, with the shortest note path onto its recyclers, SCR creates new opportunities to expand customer throughput by reducing queue times. And speed comes at no sacrifice to security and reliability because SCR also offers the best first-time acceptance rate of valid street-grade notes, including those that are damp, crinkled and torn.
The exceptional note acceptance provided by SCR, combined with its ergonomic design, builds trust so customers can be confident to return for another smooth payment experience. Refined plastic moulding techniques prevent obstructive flaws along the note path, and a corrective transport system minimises skew and offset in the acceptor head to prevent jams and unnecessary rejections. And transactions are intuitive, as notes are accepted and dispensed from the same place, preventing any confusion about where to locate change. A separate note dispenser is not required, releasing the cash that would otherwise be tied up inside the pay station - and without this entire mechanical component, there are fewer moving parts in the payment system’s total footprint, increasing its overall reliability.
SCR also offers a number of unique security features. Its architecture includes a removable anti-stringing mechanism, as well as a specialised inventory management system that accurately tracks the number of notes going into and out of the machine. It provides complete note accountability, even when powered down or if a jammed note is removed during an intervention. And the entire note path is easily accessible for maintenance without also providing access to secured notes.
As an additional layer of security, one of SCR’s two recycling drums can also be utilised for multi-note escrow functionality. In such a configuration, SCR will return the same notes a customer inserted if a transaction is cancelled prior to completion.
Maximizing ROI - now and into the future
SCR reduces how much start-up float is required on site by relying on riders and motorists to insert the smaller denominations it uses to pay back change to other endcustomers. Whilst the value of this float difference is a one-time gain for operators, the business process improvements resulting from not having to withdraw, store and reconcile these notes are reoccurring.
In summary, choosing to equip your pay station with the MEI SCR will help ensure your customers enjoy a happy, carefree experience next time they park, whilst operators can be confident in offering a reliable, hassle-free and efficient solution that enhances their operation and leads to greater profitability.
Contact CPI today to discover the MEI SCR and learn how change can be made easy.
Crane Payment Innovations (CPI) is part of Crane Co, a diversified manufacturer of highly engineered industrial products. CPI provides a full range of unattended payment solutions aimed at the Gaming, Retail, Transportation, Vending and Financial Services applications. CPI is built on the technological heritage and market expertise of the NRI, CashCode, Telequip, Money Controls and, most recently, the MEI and Conlux brands. CPI is headquartered in Malvern, PA with further offices, manufacturing facilities, distribution and service centers worldwide. CPI holds one of the world’s largest installed base of unattended payment systems. For additional information visit www.cranepi.com and follow us on Twitter & LinkedIn for regular updates.