With a few industry players currently looking at providing a solution to the industry’s ongoing cashless challenge, IHL’s Howard Gant explains the qualities he believes will make Two Cherries’ smartphone app the pick of the bunch.
What are the most important qualities in a payments smartphone app?
Howard Gant: It almost goes without saying that security has to come first, but beyond that there’s no point having a payments solution if it can’t be kept online, so reliability is a very close second. Of course, both are necessary to earn the trust of the industry and players, as both only take one incident for the smart- phone app to lose credibility.When it comes to online services, being offline for even a day feels like a lifetime, and it’s something we know operators and players won’t easily forgive.
Flexibility and functionality are also crucial for what we want to achieve with Two Cherries.The former allows us to reach our goal of “one industry,one solution”,as we can fit around operators and manufacturers needs rather than forcing them to comply with a rigid structure. We want to be transparent and allow the industry to see the technology we are using,which will not only encourage cooperation but also further trust.On the player side,the user-friendly functionality of the smartphone app will greatly affect the uptake.Over the last decade, companies such as Spotify and Netflix have really began to make a science out of creating a smooth and highly functional user interface, because when an application becomes easier to use,more people will use it – more often.
How will the Two Cherries solution encapsulate these qualities?
HG: The simple answer is that we are not trying to reinvent the wheel, instead we are utilising proven technology that’s been tried and tested over the last decade and used around the world to power many CRM engines and backend online operations.The app’s structure and implementation of features is of our own design, but the technology behind it has been the backbone of many successful solutions, and is continually updated and improved on year after year. Because we are using software with such a strong pedigree, Two Cherries will be able to ensure a smooth experience from launch without any of the technological teething problems that can occur with new products.
As well as ensuring the smartphone app functions reliably both at launch and day-to-day, how is Two Cherries future-proofing its solutions?
HG: The technology we use is already fit for the future, the next challenge is embedding Two Cherries in the industry and staying ahead of trends.We already have great connections across all sectors through IHL, and with Regal Leisure and Gamestec supporting Two Cherries we have more than enough knowledge and experience around us to anticipate and prepare for any changes that come the industry’s way. Already, we are working with manufacturers to better understand future customer cabinet requirements in order to improve the customer journey, as well as talking to operators about how the smart- phone app could interact with other assets or mediums in their venues.
Being independent, we are not limited by who we can work with or where we can expand, so the focus is always on connecting players with the industry in a way that is always mutually beneficial for both parties. Two Cherries is really more than just a payments solution, it can also be both a powerful operator tool and a reliable player companion.The voluntary player tracking system and promotional tools will equip operators with the means to tailor player experiences, while players will be able to take full control of their own journey through an advanced suite of social responsibility tools.
It’s now been a month since the Two Cherries smartphone app was first announced – what progress has been made since then, and what’s the next step?
HG:There has been a lot of interest since the announcement, particularly from other sectors. These conversations are likely to develop over the next four to six weeks, hopefully into more support as we show manufacturers and operators how the Two Cherries smartphone app will function. We know that this is a straight-talking industry that really appreciates transparency,and so we are happy to show interested parties the technology behind the app and to keep them updated as we progress forward.
The next step is testing in April, which will allow us to show that our solution is as strong in practice as it is in principal.