I’m confused, whats the difference between LaundryCard and FasCard?
Although LaundryCard and FasCard have many similar features, they are very different in how they operate. LaundryCard is what is known as an ‘On-Premise’ system, this means that when you purchase LaundryCard you are purchasing all of the servers and networking equipment needed to run the system and host all of this equipment in your store. In contrast, FasCard is what is known as a ‘Cloud Based’ system, all of the servers and networking equipment is all located in our data center and all that is required onsite is a reliable internet connection. While LaundryCard’s card readers are all hardwired to the central system, FasCard card readers are all wireless and require little to no network cabling.
There are a number of factors you want to consider when deciding which product is best for your situation. If your project requires less than 40 machines then from purely a financial perspective you might want to be considering FasCard as the initial investment in the servers may be tough to justify. If you application is larger than 40 machines then the decision should be based on whether or not you want to continue to accept coins in your store. LaundryCard is exclusively a coin replacement system where ALL machines must be converted to accept cards. FasCard on the other hand is a hybrid system, allowing machines to continue to accept coin but also accept credit/debit and loyalty cards. FasCard also allows owners to start with a few machines and add more over time.
For multi-housing applications such as apartment buildings, hotels, and condominium buildings FasCard is the really the only viable option, in these application the location must have a reliable internet connection available. For medium to large Laundromat projects, LaundryCard in most cases is the best option, as it provides valuable automation tools to help operate the Laundry. Certainly, for some Laundromat owners, they prefer FasCard even for their large Laundromat projects as they feel they need to continue to accept coin in order to serve their customers needs best.
With FasCard do I get charged a transaction fee every time a credit card is swiped on a machine?
No, FasCard uses a ‘Pre-authorization’ method for handling credit card transactions allowing you to configure your system to only generate one transaction per credit card per day. If configured properly system owners will only have to pay one transaction fee per credit card per day. The process starts with a user swiping their credit card on any machine, the system pre-authorizes the users credit card a pre-determined amount and holds that amount for a preset amount of time. Once the user has stopped using their card for the designated idle time, FasCard settles the credit card for the actual amount the user spent. At this point you will incur a transaction fee which includes all of the swipes for that customer. If the user spends more than the per-designated amount the system will settle what was actually spent and then pre-authorize again.
What does ‘Multi-Vend’ mean?
‘Multi-Vend’ in our application refers to a type of card reader to machine interface. Essentially, machines that support our ‘Multi-Vend’ interface allow the card reader and the machine to communicate back and forth. This interface allows the card reader to support the host machines various pricing and cycle features, such as variable priced cycle options (more for hot, less for cold) or cycle upgrades (Extra rinse/wash).
The level of card reader to machine functionality varies between the different manufacture of machines, and not all machines support a ‘Multi-Vend’ interface. Use the compatibility guide to determine if your make/model machine supports ‘Multi-Vend’
What does ‘Single Vend’ mean?
‘Single Vend’ in our application refers to a type of card reader to machine interface. Essentially, machines that only support our ‘Single-Vend’ interface are started by the card reader sending very simple ‘pulses’ that emulate quarters. The machine and card reader do not communicate, rather the card reader pretends to be a coin drop and once the user has satisfied the vend price the card reader send the ‘pulses’ to the machine which starts the equipment.
In contrast to a ‘Multi-Vend’ interface, ‘Single-Vend’ interfaces do not support variable cycle pricing (Charge more for hot, less for cold) or cycle upgrades (Extra rinse/wash).
Why should I choose CCI? What makes your products special versus the other options that are available?
There are a few vendors to choose from when selecting a card system for your Laundry, there are many factors that make a CCI product the best option…
1. Automation – Our products are not just ‘Card System’ they are ‘Automation Systems’, unlike other products that simply allow you to remove or supplement the quarters from a Laundry, CCI products automates many aspects of the business. From LaundryCard’s employee time keeping to equipment service monitoring, or FasCards smart phone interface CCI offers more features than any other product on the market.
2. Focus – Laundry is the only industry we service, LaundyCard and FasCard were specifically designed for Laundry applications. Other vendors offer solutions that were designed for other industries than ‘ported’ to work in a laundry environment. This focus means we are always looking for ways to improve the experience from both the laundry owners and users perspective.
3. Experience – Our founders have been involved in the Laundromat industry for over 40 years. As well, our founders actually own and operate Laundromats! When you are working with CCI you can feel confident that the products we design and distribute have been tried and tested in our own stores. We often tell people that LaundryCard was built by store owners for store owners.
4. Support – The Laundromat business is not a 9-5 Monday through Friday business. Laundromats are busiest on weekends and evenings, this should be no surprise to anyone. That’s why CCI provides technical support 365 days a year 24 hours a day. Our customer rave about our support, that’s because we are available when they need us.
I’m afraid that my customers will not understand this kind of technology, and that converting to card I will lose business.
This is a natural reaction some store owners have, making any significant change to any business can be a difficult decision. Our experience in the Laundromat industry extends past the 800+ installations we have performed, our founders have been in the Laundromat business for over 40 years.
As store owners ourselves we can empathize with operators and share our real world experiences. Our stores exist in all demographic profiles both in low and middle income areas. It’s been our experience time and time again that the fear of customer acceptance is not an issue, most to all customers appreciate the added value and conveniences that a card system provides.
The reality is that the laundry industry is actually behind the times in regards to technology. Consumers have been using this kind of technology in their daily lives for years, transit systems, phone cards, government assistance programs and don’t underestimate who has a credit card. Next time you visit a fast food restaurant you can almost bet that they accept credit cards.
Customers are always looking for ways to maximize their dollar, likewise store owners are always looking for ways to attract and retain customers. CCI’s products fill both needs by giving store owners the tools to reward customers for their loyalty.
I can’t find any prices for your products on the website, how can I get pricing?
All of CCI products are sold through a network of local distributors. Product pricing can be obtained through one of these resellers. If you need assistance locating a distributor near you please use the ‘Locate a Distributor’ form on this page or contact us by phone or email. Visit our Purchase FAQ for more information.
What is Authorize.net? and why do I need it?
All credit card transaction require a processing service, and Authorize.net is a gateway service that CCI products utilize. A gateway service passes credit/debit card transaction information via a secure connection to your merchant processor, and the processor submits the transaction to the credit card network (like Visa or MasterCard). The credit card network routes the transaction to the bank that issued the credit card to the customer. The issuing bank approves or declines the transaction based on the customer’s available funds and passes the transaction results back to the credit card network. The credit card network relays the transaction results to the merchant bank’s processor. The processor relays the transaction results to the gateway service. The gateway service stores the transaction results and sends them to the CCI system.
The benefit of using Authorize.net is that it can be configured to work with almost any merchant bank processor, therefore giving the owner the ability to choose which bank they wish to do business with.
What happens to FasCard if your Internet connection goes down?
FasCard is a ‘Cloud Based’ system, therefore in order to operate normally a reliable Internet connection is required. However FasCard does have offline capabilities that will allow a location to continue to function in the event of a connection problem.
When coin is used along with FasCard, the FasCard reader will always allow coins to start a machine even if the connection to the servers is lost, these transactions are all stored internally and synchronized with the servers once the connection is re-established. If loyalty cards are being used along with a payment kiosk, cash to card transactions will still be accepted and balances that are on cards can still be used to start machines. In the event that there is an outage and there are no kiosks utilized in the location, a ‘Super Card’ is available and can be used to start the machines during the offline period. Machine starts processed by the ‘Super Card’ are not tracked and should only be used for emergencies. Also, the ‘Super Card’ will only work if the card readers cannot communicate with the servers, therefore swiping a ‘Super Card’ during normal operating period will not start the machine.
During an Internet outage, credit/debit card transactions will not be processed. Also, loyalty transactions performed from internet devices will also not be effective until the location established its connection with the servers.
Can I retrofit my existing coin store with a LaundryCard system?
Yes, almost any commercial washer or dryer can be converted to accept a LaundryCard reader in place of a coin drop. In most cases retrofitting a store does not require that the business close and can be converted on slower days will minimal impact on your customers. Working with your CCI distributor, an appropriate plan can be assembled that fits both the needs of you and your customers.
I’ve heard that converting to a card system is expensive? How do I justify investing in a payment system?
It is true that the up front investment required to purchase a payment system is significant. The good news is that the return on investment is easily justifiable, as well its very easy to calculate.
Investing in a CCI payment system pays for it’s self in many ways but the two simplest factors are ‘penny incremental pricing’ and ‘float’. Penny incremental pricing basically allows store owners to vend machines in non quarter increments, so rather than vend a 30 pound washer at $3.25 vend it at $3.32. In this example, the small seven cent increase in vend price could equate to an extraordinary profit gain over the course of a month. Imagine raising all of your vend prices by $.07, the impact is very minimal to your customer but could have a tremendous positive impact on your bottom line.
The second strong ROI factor is ‘float’. Float refers to the amount of money that customers put onto their cards but have not yet spent. For example, a customer may add $20 to their card but only spend $18 on any given day. Customers realize that this remaining $2 will stay on their card and most will return to the store in a following week to use it. The key factor is that the store owner holds this value for the customer, multiply this across thousands of customers and the float can get substantial. There is always a percentage of cards that are lost, moved away, or forgotten about that goes directly to the store owner, but the most important factor is that the cards with unused balances on them represent a ‘Loyalty’ of returning customers. The float percentage varies from store to store but it is not uncommon for float to reach two to four percent of the stores gross machine sales. Take your gross annual sales and add four percent, sound good?
I own an unattended store, can an alternative payment system work in an unattended environment?
Yes, CCI products works great in both attended and unattended stores. In either case it’s always a good idea to have someone onsite for some time once the system is first introduced. There may be a few more questions that may need to be answered as your customers may not be familiar with the new system. Time and time again we see unattended Laundries do very well with our products, the key to this success the very simple user interface. From large touch screen displays to easy to use card readers CCI products considers the user experience with every product it designs.
Can I install LaundryCard and still keep my coins?
No, LaundryCard is a ‘Card Only’ system that eliminates the use of coins. For a hybrid coin and card solution FasCard would be the right choice.
I’m a merchant services provider, how do I board customers who are using CCI systems?
Both FasCard and LaundryCard system utilize the gateway services of Authorize.net, which allows customers to use almost any merchant services provider available. The Authorize.net account must be created by CCI, outside Authorize.net accounts can and will not be used with CCI products. Verify with your customer which CCI product they are using and then provide a VAR worksheet as described in the links below.
Completed VAR worksheets may be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org