The Center for Disease Control (CDC) outlines lots of procedures for keeping people safe by slowing the spread of COVID. There are loads of examples and plenty of good direction on the CDC website; many specific to retail outlets.
Obviously, the CDC offers guidance to retailers when exchanging paper and coin money like: do not touch your face afterward, asking customers to place cash on the counter rather than directly into your hand, etc. The CDC also encourages retailers to clean and disinfect frequently-touched surfaces such as workstations, cash registers, payment terminals, door handles, tables, and countertops on a routine basis. All good practices. But this is the one that caught my attention:
"Encourage customers to use touchless payment options, when available. Minimize handling cash, credit cards, reward cards, and mobile devices, where possible."
- The Center for Disease Control
Who would have thought we would be in this situation; where coming within six feet of each other, much less touching, has taken on a whole new meaning! Many consumers don't want to touch a key pad at a retail location. I know I don’t.
The fact that so many car washes are self-service makes the potential consumer perception about the situation worse. There is likely no one at the wash wiping down equipment and key pads after every consumer use. The fact that there is soap and water flying everywhere doesn’t mean the equipment is clean and safe. It’s not ‘disinfected’.
When we went to work on our new app over a year ago, it wasn’t because of health concerns. That actually didn’t even make the list of reasons for building an app. It was all about convenience, and car wash marketing, building a bigger customer base and larger transactions.
And that is what it does.
But a big reason an app is such a good idea right now, is because of the pandemic. I’ve said this before; I know there may be more germs on my cell phone than on a retail key pad, BUT THEY ARE MY GERMS!! Many people don’t want to even touch a key pad with their debit or credit cards. Right now, I would much rather pay through a cell phone app than by any other method.
“If you haven’t looked into our app for your business, I hope you will do so. And, if you would prefer to build your own app or get an app from somewhere else, I hope you do that.”
Although we didn't invent the UWashApp because of the pandemic, since we launched it in mid-April, it is providing consumers - and car wash operators like you - a safe way to do business with each other.
Every car wash operator wants to provide a safe environment to serve consumers. We want to be part of an industry that people trust.
If you are interested, you can contact us about setting up your operation. It’s not difficult, and the setup fees are manageable. Learn about all the necessary steps, initial costs and onboarding services. We have everything you need to provide your customers the payment environment they prefer.
Traditionally – and overall – our industry lags a bit behind the rest of retailing in applying advances in payment systems when they become available, but this is one time where we need to respond to the health data, and the consumers’ desire to stay safe.
Stay separated, stay vigilant, stay aware and stay healthy!