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How is a Debit Card System Better Than Tokens and Tickets?

Posted by Grey Burnett on Jul 19, 2012 10:11:00 AM

arcadeWe all know someone that always wants the latest and greatest gadget or the newest, slickest software simply because it exists. I have a friend that bought an iPad when they first came out specifically for reading books. Once he realized the Kindle he already had was better for reading books his iPad was left on a shelf to collect dust.

Many entertainment business operators look at debit card systems and are afraid that they are like the iPad was for my friend: expensive and not really any better. So where do debit cards systems fall on this spectrum? Are they a novelty that some facilities use simply because they are the high-tech alternative? Or do they legitimately improve your business?

Here are some of the advantages that debit card systems have over tokens:

1.      Game pricing would be open-ended. Rather than having to price games in 25-cent increments, you could price your games much more precisely. Simple video games like a retro Pac-Man machine have cost $0.25 for years. You can’t get away with $0.50 but with a debit card system you could raise the price to $0.30 or $0.33. And a game that would seem expensive at $1.00 might do much better at $0.95.

2.      Varying your prices by time of day or by the day of week would be an option. If your arcade is slow on Mondays and Tuesdays, you could offer special pricing on those days to boost sales. Or you could have a happy hour program from 5PM to 6PM every week day with half price video games.

3.      You could offer a VIP program that lets you offer specialty pricing to VIP customers, helping you to build customer loyalty. This status could be offered to customers who spend some minimum amount with you or you could potentially charge a customer to become a VIP.

4.      Rather than just adding “value” to cards, customers could purchase “time play,” allowing them to play any authorized games in your arcade as much as they want for a certain amount of time. Offering one-hour time play blocks is a great way of attracting the afternoon teenage crowd that is much more interested in video games than redemption games.

5.      A debit card system can also save you a small fortune on tickets by using the cards to store the ticket value. When a customer swipes their card to play a game, rather than dispensing tickets at the end of the game, “tickets” are added to their card, which can be used at the redemption counter just like a ticket eater receipt. And not only will you save on tickets, you get to eliminate the headache of loading tickets into games!

6.      Now that your arcade no longer has tokens or tickets, employee theft in your arcade will be drastically reduced. No matter what, you have always had to trust someone else with your tokens and tickets. Employee theft is often a theft of opportunity and without physical tokens and tickets, much of the opportunity is gone. With a debit card system, you can have much tighter controls on your arcade, reducing theft.

Debit card systems give you a lot of extra pricing flexibility that tokens can't offer. They also eliminate the need for tokens and tickets, reduce employee theft and reduce your labor costs. Given all those savings, it wouldn't take long to earn back the cost of a debit card system.

Interested in learning more about how CenterEdge Software implements debit card systems? Give us a call at (336) 598-5934 or click below to schedule a demo.

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Topics: FEC, Redemption Management, Cashless