Payment methods can enhance customer experience

Pay-island kiosks create a win-win

An article just published in CSP Magazine (October 2009 – see link) amplifies the value of payments complementing the customer experience.

For several years, convenience store retailers have attempted to implement bill acceptors on gas pumps. It has been a tough sell.  I once evaluated this on behalf of a major armored carrier and the leading supplier of bill acceptors. The study concluded it was logistically impractical for an armored carrier to service bill readers at each pump. “Pay-island kiosks” (PIKs) proved to be a practical and successful solution. The kiosks, located to accomodate payment without having to enter the store can be configured to also accept debit and credit card transactions.

Cash usage at c-stores  rose 3.8% in 2008

Cash represented 46.8% of all payments at convenience stores last year, at the expense of plastic. Retailers provided price incentives for cash purchases as they dealt with the reality of credit and debit card fees. Those fees averaged $58,903 per store, the second-largest expense next only to labor! According to the article, more than 4000 PIKs are installed, processing $3 billion per year in cash. Everyone wins:

  • Customers enjoy pay-at-the-pump convenience.
  • Security is less of an issue since they are serviceable by armored carriers.
  • Merchants can drive more sales to cash, their least expensive form of payment relative to cost per transaction.

Have you approached payment methods as a marketing tool?

 Consumers value the purchase experience, not just the purchase. Does your approach to payment acceptance meet your customers’ desires?

 

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