Dec 14, 2017

IAAPA Attractions Expo Reflections

Today’s blog was written by Curtiss Couch, Regional Sales Director, Southeast for USA Technologies. 

The “I” in “IAAPA” could stand for imagination. At this year’s exposition, vendors from across the world appealed to the imagination of attendees through their rides, games, and machines, from roller coasters to virtual reality. One of our USA Technologies team members who attended the IAAPA Attractions Expo 2017 with me said it rivaled Disney World in its opportunities for fun. He’s right.

Among this land of wonder, I noticed that there is a great deal of money that could be made in the amusement industry through the adoption of cashless payment technology. As a supplier to amusement vendors, I would like amusement operators to imagine all the payment possibilities they might make available to their customers. Think of all the potential consumers who walk by those machines every day without cash in their pocket. What do these consumers have in their pockets? If not a card, they are sure to have a phone.

According to a 2016 Premium Report on Amusement Arcades, coin-operated games and rides account for more than 40 percent of total sales in the amusement industry. If operators invested in cashless payment options, that percentage would very likely rise. Imagine all the new and repeat customers you might have if you enabled all types of payments on your rides, games, and machines. Try seeing your business through the eyes of your customers, and imagine how you, as an amusement operator, could provide more opportunities for fun.   

When I walk up to a skee ball machine in an arcade, I don’t want to play just one game. Rather than repeatedly feeding cash into the machine, I would much prefer to swipe my credit/debit card, or tap my mobile phone, to play a few times in a row. In fact, you could easily hook me with an offer to play three games for a discounted price should I pay via a cashless option. When you make it easy for me to pay, I am very likely to spend more, more often. USAT company data backs up my preference for cashless payments in this scenario—information collected from 600,000 machines enabled with our cashless payment technology reveals that consumers spend 32 percent more with cashless payments.

The consumer’s relationship with money has changed and continues to evolve. We want to help amusement vendors leverage the trends we see in the market and stay ahead of new payment technologies. Game on!

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